As a result of the widespread usage of smartphones, and the increasing internet penetration experienced in Africa, digital products are increasingly getting better acceptance, and changing the status quo of business operations.
Soaring on the back of these emerging technologies, YC-backed startup, Curacel, has launched a new interface that allows digital businesses to add insurance to their core products. The new product, which is an API-based tool, is targeted at businesses in fintech, retail, and e-commerce sectors.
The tool, which is called Grow, will also be providing new growth opportunity for insurance providers in the travel, health and automotive sectors by helping them distribute their products digitally.
According to Curacel, the API tool has so far, been integrated into 22 African platforms including Topship, Barter by Flutterwave, Float, Fingo and Payhippo.
By integrating Grow into their systems, the companies would be able to add Insurance packages to their offering, or offer insurance as a standalone package.
“The opportunity is massive. And we’re not just looking at instances where people are buying insurance for themselves, we are also looking at transactions that are insurable — like you can bundle loans and life insurance,” Curacel CEO and co-founder Henry Mascot, said.
Mascot later, in 2019, partnered with co-founder and CTO, John Dada, to build insurance technology. Both co-founders worked together by launching a fraud detection system for a health insurance company. This effort revealed the need for more technologies in the insurance market.
“We realized there were a bunch of problems. Insurance companies were losing a lot of money to fraud. And so we built the system for them,” Henry Mascot said.
With insurance penetration in Africa currently standing at 3%, and insurance policies being sold mostly offline and through insurance brokers and agents, the Nigerian company, Curacel, aims to improve things.
“We have built infrastructure around insurance that enables the industry to work better from the process of selling insurance to making sure that the people who actually have insurance get paid quickly and efficiently,” said Mascot.
Reports have it that the low patronage experienced in insurance is due to the distrust that people have in the insurance companies. The distrust is stemmed from the delay experienced when insurance premium should be paid, as well as companies’ inability to pay.
“People do not really trust insurance companies because they don’t pay claims as fast as they should, and this can be tied to the slow manual process. And so, we provide the infrastructure for existing insurance companies and the ecosystem to make them more efficient, and scale faster to capture the opportunity in Africa,” Mascot said.
Curacel will now compete with the likes of Lami technologies in this business.