Mali’s Insuretech Startup, Oko Finance Raises $1.2M to Drive Expansion
Mali’s insuretech startup for agribusinesses, Oko, has completed an investment round of $1.2 million. The round was led by Newfund and ResiliAnce while Mercy Corps Ventures, Techstars, ImpactAssets and RaSa also participated.
Oko works with different players across the agricultural value chain by helping suppliers to insure their procurement, selling and distributing processes. The startup launched in 2017 and has already expanded to Uganda.
With the new round, its next port of call is Ivory Coast where it will be expanding the reach of its services to cover relevant stakeholders in the country.
Before this round, the insuretech startup has raised a total of $530,400 according to stats from Crunchbase. The funds were pulled from 7 rounds which include 3 grants and 2 preseed rounds. The preseed rounds are worth $226,200 from Techstars and Rasa Future Fund.
Techstars and Rasa also participated in this seed round as mentioned earlier.
The startup is focused primarily on helping farmers get insurance and micro-credit when they need it. Simon Schwall, the founder of OKO, said, “Agriculture is by far the largest source of occupation in Africa, with an estimated 33 million farms. And yet, farmers are deprived of basic financial services like insurance and loans, we are using technology to solve this issue and secure the income of those farmers”.
The startup uses the latest satellite observations to develop precise weather monitoring tools for farmers. It also partners with mobile operators to give access to insurance to farmers remotely.
By having access to weather monitoring tools, the farmers are able to plan ahead and make better decisions. Oko’s insurance comes in handy in situations like heavy flooding or drought which have a drastic impact on the farms.
In January 2021, the farmers who had insured their farms with the insuretech startup received payouts from it when their farms were severely affected by flooding in Mali. The payouts are estimated to be $70,000 dollars and were distributed among 1,000 farmers.
The startup currently has 7,000 paying customers and will be increasing that number when it starts operations in Ivory Coast.
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