Pula raises $6m in Series A to help derisk farmers across Africa and Asia

African leading agricultural technology insurance company popularly known as Pula has raised $6million in Series A Fundraising activity aimed at derisking millions of smallholder farmers courtesy of TLcom Capital, with the participation of women’s World Banking.

Pula’s new ground to reach many smallholder farmers.

The new investment will be used to scale up operations in the company’s existing 13 markets across Africa. Currently, Pula has impacted over 4.3 Million farmers on the continent and the new funding will also help propel its expansion into Asia to power resilience and profitability for Asian smallholder farmers.

Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times,  Pula Co-founder Rose Goslinga said when they were establishing the company in 2015, they had one goal in mind – to build and deliver scalable insurance solutions for Africa’s 700 Million smallholder farmers and with the raised money they will break into new ground to reach many smallholder farmers.

“In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products but the fact remains that across Africa and other emerging markets, there are still millions of smallholder farmers with risks to their livelihoods that have not been covered.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, farmers need assurances now more than ever and with this in mind, it’s time to scale up. Having TLcom Capital and Women’s World Banking along on the journey with us, opens up many more opportunities as we build across the continent and beyond.” She said

According to Goslinga through its partnerships with banks, governments and agricultural input companies, Pula is at the Center of an ecosystem which provides insurance to smallholder farmers and has amassed 50 insurance partners, as well as six reinsurance partners.

In December 2020, the startup was named as the “Insurtech of the Year” at the African Insurance Awards 2020 held in Lagos, Nigeria. As part of the new fundraise, TLcom’s Senior Partner Omobola Johnson will join Pula’s Board.

Managing Partner and Founder at TLcom Capital, Maurizio Caio, says “In Pula, we found a company addressing a hugely underserved market in one of Africa’s key drivers of growth and with this, an opportunity for major economic upside.

Caio said the potential for the insurance market for smallholder farmers in Africa is huge and under the leadership of Rose and Thomas, Pula has rapidly established a strong presence throughout the continent and has a number of high-profile clients on their books.

“We are confident of Pula’s potential for growth in spite of the pandemic and look forward to partnering with them as they execute the next phase of their journey,” he said

Women’s World Banking representative Christina Juhasz, said given the legions of women engaged in small-hold farming and securing the food supply for communities around the globe, Women’s World Banking is delighted to partner with Pula Advisors in providing them financial safety nets against the risks of pests, disease and climate change”.

Launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure climate risks, improve their farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.

Through its Area Yield Index Insurance product, Pula leverages machine learning, crop cuts experiments and data points relating to weather patterns and farmer losses to build products which caters for a variety of risks including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and diseases.

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