Jamii Africa, a Tanzanian insurance technology firm, received $1 million funding during Q3 of the year as it seeks to accelerate it business across its market of operation, and venture into Kenya.
The InsurTech, a micro-health mobile policy management platform that offers insurance policies for as low as Ksh100 per month through mobile phones, was funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, Seedstars World, Tiphub, XL Africa, US-based entrepreneur Patrick Munis and a number of undisclosed Investors.
The financial backing is one of the 57 InsurTech transactions that were successfully completed globally during the period under review, a 27 per cent drop compared to the Q2 of the year, says Willis Towers Watson in its latest Quarterly InsurTech Briefing.
Global InsurTech firms closed $1.3 billion of funding during the Q3, which was more than double the funding volume over the prior quarter.
The trend of growing round sizes continues. Q3 2018 saw eight transactions over $40 million, compared with six in the first half of 2018.
Insurance and reinsurance companies continue to actively participate in the funding of InsurTech, but the pace decreased as compared with prior quarter.
Interest in InsurTech has soared of the last few years as they are able to take unique approaches to incorporate technology in order to address inefficiencies or coverage gaps that exist within the existing insurance ecosystem.
Also, they are using data (third-party and proprietary), advanced sensors and Internet of Things capabilities to develop a new paradigm of insurance offerings for the connected world.
“Customers demand peace of mind, and high basis risk substantially diminishes the value proposition of insurance,” says Rafal Walkiewicz, chief executive officer, Willis Towers Watson Securities.
InsurTech firms are also becoming a favourable option as they are deploying parametric structures compared indemnity-based insurance. This enables them to pay out a predefined sum based on a trigger chosen as a proxy for a loss.
“The impact of parametric insurance can be much more profound than simply lowering frictional costs and mitigating the potential for fraud,” added Mr Walkiewicz.
According to the brief by WLTW, early-stage investments remained strong; Seed and Series A accounted for 64 per cent of total transactions since 2013 and 58 per cent in the quarter under review.
Property and Casualty funding volume increased by 32 per cent over Q2 2018 and increased 224 per cent from Q3 2017. There were 40 P&C transactions in the quarter, which was slightly below the 44 transactions in Q2 2018, but 48 per cent higher than Q3 2017.
Life and Health funding volume was up 367 per cent from Q2 2018 and increased 406 per cent from Q3 of 2017. Despite the overall deal count being down from Q2 2018 and Q3 2017, the $687 million in funding value for the quarter was the highest amount since Q2 of 2017 and the third highest on record.
Jamii Africa has partnered with Jubilee Insurance to target low-income, informal-sector workers in Tanzania. Its platform performs all the administration activities of an insurer and allows over 20,000 active users to access over 400 hospitals.
There are a number of InsurTech firms in Kenya notably being WazInsure by GrassRoots Bima, BlueWave, Bismart, KakBima and InsureAfrika.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.