NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9- GreenTec Capital, a German investment boutique focused on African start-ups, has entered into an investment agreement with Bismart, a Kenyan start-up insurance aggregator leveraging on digital platforms and technologies to educate and advice customers on the best insurance and investment solutions available in the Kenya market.
GreenTec, headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, will invest an undisclosed amount of money in Bismart to enable the company upscale its digital and online platforms to connect customers to insurance and investments solutions available in the African market.
The agreement, announced in Frankfurt, will see Bismart benefit from GreenTec’s expertise and experience in funding start-ups in Africa through capacity building, and process optimization.
GreenTec will also avail to the Kenyan company a team of international experts to help implement adapted latest technology to the model in order to extend its local value chain and have more impact.
“Bismart’s vision is to enable customers to access insurance and investment services in a transparent, convenient, and friendly manner.”
“By using emerging technologies to address the issues of financing and transparency in insurance, Bismart aims to empower the customer to be financially independent, with the ultimate aim of increasing insurance penetration in Kenya which is still very low,” said Eunice Maina, CEO, Bismart Insurance.
Commenting on the new partnership, Maina said the digital interface being developed by the company with assistance from GreenTec will allow the distribution of insurance products across all of Africa, facilitating the rapid roll-out and scaling of the business. The platform will also help Bismart to increase efficiency and transparency through the implementation of Blockchain technology “Smart-Contracts” in order to facilitate policy management and benefit from the security of decentralized databases.
With the partnership, Bismart becomes the first company in Kenya to use Blockchain technology, which is an incorruptible distributed digital ledger. The transactions are easily verifiable and cannot be corrupted. The technology also allows information to be distributed across different locations simultaneously.
GreenTec’s CEO Erick Yong said: “One of the biggest challenges for innovative startups in Africa is the implementation of solutions with distribution channels that have Pan-African reach. Bismart’s application of emerging technologies solves this problem brilliantly, while disrupting the insurance value chain from customer acquisition to risk management.”
Yong said that “insurance adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa is in the low single digits with South Africa an exception with a rate above 10pc. This is due in part to the inability of insurance companies to rely on the traditional payment channels provided by banks for premium collection and claim pay-outs. Additionally, the African market is primarily composed of consumers with unsteady cash flows and low incomes that are wary of paying for services without perceived tangible benefits. And finally, he noted, insurance acceptance is further limited by low financial literacy at the Bottom of the Pyramid that leads to inefficiencies in customer acquisition, policy management, and claims resolution”.
GreenTec Capital invests in African start-ups and SMEs with a focus on combining social and environmental impact with financial success. We use our proprietary Transformative capacity building, process and a diverse team of international experts to help them implement adapted latest technology and market strategy to their model so they can extend their value chain and have more impact locally.
In addition to GreenTec’s investment, Bismart has already benefited from the commitment of an initial investor to develop its platform and expects to launch its service offerings by the start of Q4 2018.
Bismart was awarded seed capital of Sh1 million in April 2018 by Standard chartered Women in Tech programmed and office space for nine months at IBIZ Africa incubator, as the most innovative and scalable business model in Kenya.