Pula Raises $20 Million Series B to Expand Agricultural Insurance for Smallholder Farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Pula, a Kenyan-based insurtech firm, has successfully raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by BlueOrchard, through its InsuResilience strategy. This strategy aims to provide climate insurance to vulnerable populations in emerging markets. Other significant participants in this funding round include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hesabu Capital, and existing investors.

Founded in 2015 by Thomas Njeru and Rose Goslinga, Pula has focused on enhancing access to agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers in emerging markets, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The company has developed a comprehensive approach to insuring farmers against losses from pests, diseases, and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. To date, Pula has provided insurance coverage to 15.4 million farmers across these regions.

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Pula’s business model involves collaborating with over 100 partners, including charitable organizations, banks, governments, and agricultural input companies. This network enables Pula to embed insurance into farm input costs or credit services, thus reaching even the most remote farmers. For example, in Zambia, Pula has partnered with the government to embed insurance premiums within fertilizer and seed packages. In Ethiopia, the firm has worked with the World Food Programme and the German Development Bank KfW to integrate insurance into input voucher schemes, benefiting thousands of farmers.

The newly acquired funds will enable Pula to establish new partnerships and expand its services, particularly in livestock coverage. This expansion builds on pilot programs, such as the one in Nigeria, where rural families have received comprehensive coverage against risks like banditry, disease, and animal death. Additionally, Pula plans to deepen its presence in Asia and Latin America, markets it entered in 2021.

Pula employs a digital platform leveraging artificial intelligence, on-the-ground data collection, mobile-based registration systems, remote sensing, and end-to-end automation tools. This innovative approach has facilitated the company’s efficient expansion into new geographies while maintaining low setup costs.

The impact of Pula’s insurance products is significant. According to research conducted by the company, agricultural insurance helps smallholder farmers increase investment in their farms by 16%, improve yields by 56%, and boost household savings by up to 170%. Since its inception, Pula has facilitated insurance payouts totaling close to $40 million to 900,000 farmers. The company’s customer satisfaction is evidenced by an 80% renewal rate among farmer groups and aggregators, which is above the industry average.


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