Casava, an insurtech startup has raised $4 million to provide accessible and affordable digital insurance in Nigeria.
Target Global led the pre-seed round, with foreign VCs and angel investors such as Entrée Capital, Oliver Jung, Tom Blomfield, Ed Robinson and Brandon Krieg participating.
Other local investors that participated in the round include Uche Pedro, founder of BellaNaija; Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha, founders of Kuda; Shola Akinlade, Co-founder of Paystack; Olugbenga "GB" Agboola, co-founder of Flutterwave; Honey Ogundeyi, founder of Edukoya; Opeyemi Awoyemi, co-founder of Jobberman.
The $4 million investment is the largest pre-seed for an African insurtech company and the second-largest pre-seed round for a Nigerian startup behind Nestcoin's $6.45 million. The investment will support Casava's customer acquisition and growth and product development.
African innovators are leveraging the increased adoption of digital gadgets in Nigeria and Africa, to provide innovative products that users can access on their phones and personal computers. They are reinventing old industries and providing them at the fingertips of users.
A report by the National Bureau of Statistics estimated that around 20% of workers in Nigeria lost their jobs due to COVID-19. And since unemployment insurance is unavailable in Nigeria, these workers are largely left to their own devices to make ends meet between jobs.
With Casava Income Protection, subscribers can insure their income with an easy-to-use subscription starting from as little as $1 a month, and get paid monthly for 6 months if they lose their job, fall sick or become disabled. Subscribers can also add on Casava Health, which allows access to more than 1,000 doctors on telemedicine and 900 hospitals across Nigeria.
Launched in April 2021, Casava describes itself as the first 100% digital insurance company in Nigeria. The startup is making insurance affordable for income earners and protecting against key life uncertainties.
The unimpressive growth of insurance in Nigeria (and Africa) will experience improvement with the advent of insurtech startups like Casava and Octamile.
Bode Pedro, Founder and CEO of Casava said, "Our mission is to provide affordable insurance for Nigerians and other Africans and we are happy to have raised these funds from an exciting group of investors. With less than 1% of the country insured, Nigeria (with Africa) is an untapped insurance market. We want to address the barriers that hinder adoption and add value to consumers across the country".
Per National Financial Inclusion Strategy Report, only 1.9% of Nigeria's adult population had one form of insurance policy as of 2018, insurance penetration to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) was at 0.3% in 2019.
Before the impact of COVID-19, a report by McKinsey said the African insurance market was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7% per annum between 2020 and 2025, nearly twice as fast as North America, over three times that of Europe, and better than Asia’s 6%.
Casava works with reinsurance partners who guarantee a refund when claims are paid as a licensed micro-insurance underwriter. In addition, the company generate funds from off subscription fees.
Casava's founder and CEO Bode Pedro is a veteran entrepreneur that has built many successful companies, including Veda Technology, one of Nigeria’s premier computer hardware manufacturers.
The startup already has more than 66,000 customers, with $16 million in insurance coverage. Casava is Nigeria’s first licensed microinsurance underwriter, creating insurance products that make it easier for income earners across the country to indemnify themselves against life’s unforeseen events, including job loss and health emergencies.
Consumers can subscribe to Casava’s insurance products directly through the website, mobile app or WhatsApp. Going forward, the startup will also be working with fintech and digital partners to embed insurance products into their offerings.
Over 500,000 financial service agents will also be engaged to reach customers across the country. Casava will empower these agents to offer insurance and earn commissions from their customers on a recurring basis.