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May 29, 2024

Pula Raises $20m Funding to Support Farmers in Countries Affected by Insurgency

Kenyan-based  agricultural insurance technology firm, Pula has secured $20 million in Series B funding round to support farmers in countries affected by insurgency, including Nigeria.

The funding aims to provide farmers with insurance against banditry.

Pula, which is currently engaged in a pilot scheme that offers rural Nigerian farmers extensive insurance coverage against banditry, diseases, and livestock mortality, has stated that this new funding will facilitate the formation of more partnerships. 

In his statement, the chief executive officer of Pula, Thomas Njeru, expressed his excitement about partnering with a group of like-minded investors. He noted that collaboration is an important milestone in driving Pula’s global growth and its “triple 100 vision,” through which it intends to bring insurance to 100 million smallholder farmers. 

He said, “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 across 22 countries.”

“Instead of selling insurance directly to farmers, Pula has built a distribution channel of over 100 partners. These partners include charitable organizations, banks, governments, and agricultural in­put companies. The distribution channels guarantee that the start­up is able to reach farmers even in the most remote areas and provide what it calls “embedded insurance, for instance, in farm input costs or credit.”

The firm has said its products have been suited to meet the demands of its clients as well as that of the beneficiaries, noting that its has helped about 15.4 million farmers across Africa, Asia and Latin America to get insurance.

The products are underwritten by insurance and reinsurance companies and are desiged using Pula’s digital actuary platform based on historical data, such as weather patterns, event frequencies like floods or droughts, harvests, losses, and input usage.

Pula further claimed that as a result of their products, farmers using their agricultural insurance products have seen a significant increase in investment, crop yields, and savings, and this could be beneficial emerging economies like Africa, where small-scale farmers contrib­ute up to 70 per cent of the food, yet only 1 per cent of them are covered.

“Research carried out by Pula in some African countries where we have delivered insurance shows that agricultural insurance helps smallholder farmers to on average increase investment in their farms by 16 per cent, improve yields by 56 per cent, and increase household savings by up to 170 per cent.

“Also, an impact on farmers’ live­lihoods can be seen through our partner insurer’s payouts – which have reached close to over US$40 million to 900,000 farmers since Pula’s inception to date,” Njeru stated.

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