Kurasel, a YC-backed startup developing insurance infrastructure for the African market, has launched a new interface that allows digital companies such as retail, fintech, e-commerce and logistics to add insurance to their core products.
An API-based tool called Grow is currently integrated with 22 tech organizations across Africa, including Topship, Barter by Flutterwave, Float, Fingo and Payhippo, allowing them to either insure their core products. one. on one. May offer separate insurance. slip away. This tool unlocks new growth opportunities in the travel, healthcare and automotive sectors by helping insurance companies deliver their products digitally.
By making insurance products easily accessible to users of popular digital technologies, Curacell Grow aims to improve insurance access and adoption in Africa, where penetration rates are less than 3% and 1.2% excluding the South African outbound market.
“The opportunity is huge. And we’re not just looking at cases where people buy insurance for themselves, we’re also looking at deals that are insured, like you can combine loans and life insurance,” said Kurasel, CEO and co-founder of Henry Muscott, who runs a startup from Nigeria. .
Mascot’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2017 when he helped hospitals digitize files. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that he partnered with co-founder John Dud to create Insurance Technology, which started with a fraud detection system for a health insurance company, a pilot project that helped enter the insurance market. technology.
“We realized that there are too many problems. Insurance companies have suffered huge losses due to fraud. And so we created a system for them,” says Shubhankar.
Curacel (YC W22) allows any hospital with a management system to connect their systems to the startup’s APIs, seamlessly integrate with insurance companies, and automate payment processing. Mascot said nearly 4,000 hospitals and 15 partner insurance companies, including Old Mutual and AXA Mansard, have accessed its platform and processed $25 million in insurance claims through its system.
Mascot said: “We’ve built an infrastructure around insurance that helps the industry perform better than the process of selling insurance to ensure that people who do have insurance get paid quickly and efficiently.”
The fundamental technologies developed by Curacell now allow them to build a product that has the potential to reach millions of users in the nine markets they operate in, including Nigeria and Ivory Coast, as the companies continue to develop beyond the software they ship . Kurasel, which also plans to enter the Egyptian market, raised $450,000 in pre-funding last year to fund its expansion campaign.
“Enabling built-in insurance such as reconciliation, payments, reporting and data requires a range of technologies so that you can recommend the right product to the right person. We started by building an API infrastructure, but we are a strong technology company that allows us to deliver this product. ,
Insurance remains a marginal product in Africa, with broad penetration at half the world average as a percentage of GDP, and a per capita premium 11 times lower than the global average, according to the McKinsey report. Despite these low performances, the African market remains the second fastest growing market after Latin America. The continent’s insurance sector, which remains highly fragmented and faces distribution problems, is currently valued at US$68 billion in terms of gross insurance premiums. Lack of confidence due to delays or rejections due to manual claims handling also contributes to low adoption.
“People don’t really trust insurance companies because they don’t pay out claims as quickly as they can, and that can be exacerbated by the slow manual process,” Mascott said.
“And so we are providing the infrastructure to grow existing insurers and the ecosystem more efficiently and quickly to take advantage of opportunities in Africa,” he said.
Quracell is now joining an area that already has a number of insurance companies, including Lamy Technologies, which is expanding its insurance API platform across the continent. This is because the penetration of smartphones and affordable internet across the continent opens up opportunities for the adoption of digital products and gives Insurtech the opportunity to step up and offer innovative products.