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Kenyan Insurtech – Pula – raises $20m to expand farmer insurance across Africa

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Pula, a Kenyan insurtech startup, has secured $20 million in Series B funding to scale its innovative offerings to more smallholder farmers.

The funding round was led by global impact investor BlueOrchard, alongside participation from the IFC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and existing investors. Pula plans to use the capital to establish new partnerships and introduce new products, including livestock insurance.

Founded in 2015, Pula has developed a unique model to make crop insurance more accessible and affordable for smallholder farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Rather than selling insurance directly, the company embeds it in farm inputs, credit and other essential products through over 100 distribution partners.

Partnering with this group of like-minded investors to boost the growth of Pula globally is a very exciting milestone in driving our triple 100 vision, through which we intend to bring insurance to 100 million smallholder farmers,” said Pula co-founder and CEO Thomas Njeru.

Pula’s data-driven, digital approach has already helped insure 15.4 million farmers across 22 countries, protecting them from losses due to pests, diseases and extreme weather. The startup’s products are designed using historical data to set customized premiums for each region.

According to Pula, farmers using its insurance have seen 16% more investment in their farms, 56% higher yields, and up to 170% increase in household savings. The company’s high renewal rates, with 80% of farmer groups renewing coverage annually, underscores the value these products provide.

Building on this success, Pula now plans to introduce livestock insurance in countries like Kenya, having already launched a pilot program in Nigeria. The company is also eyeing further expansion in Asia and Latin America.

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What started nine years ago as an unconventional idea that many deemed un-scalable is now a proven solution that has solved real needs for millions of smallholder farmers,” Njeru added.

With smallholder farmers contributing 70% of the food supply in Africa yet only 1% having access to insurance, Pula’s model offers a promising pathway to address this protection gap and build resilience among vulnerable agricultural communities.

The fresh capital injection will enable the startup to strengthen its partnerships, develop new products, and bring affordable insurance to even more of the continent’s small-scale producers.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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