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Nigeria’s Casava Raises $4m Pre-Seed, the Largest for an African Insurtech Company

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Bode Pedro, CEO of Casava

Casava, a 100% digital insurance company in Nigeria, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $4m in pre-seed funding, the largest pre-seed for an African insurtech company, and the second-largest for a Nigerian startup, reports TechCrunch.

The pre-seed round was led by Berlin-based Target Global. The following VCs and angel investors – Entrée Capital, Oliver Jung, Tom Blomfield, Ed Robinson and Brandon Krieg – also participated in this round.

Investors from Nigeria, involved in this round include Uche Pedro (BellaNaija), Babs Ogundeyi (Kuda), Musty Mustapha (Kuda), Shola Akinlade (Paystack), Olugbenga “GB” Agboola (Flutterwave), Honey Ogundeyi (Edukoya), Tosin Eniolorunda (TeamApt) and Opeyemi Awoyemi (Moneymie), among others.

Casava’s CEO, Bode Pedro told TechCrunch that the idea for the company was born while he ran VisaCover, an insurance brokerage company who provided an alternative in the auto insurance market by allowing drivers of Uber, which was one of its partners, to make weekly insurance payments instead of quarterly or yearly payments insurance partners before it operated.

“We saw mass adoption and knew the market needed insurance payments to be broken down. But then we noticed that as brokers, we didn’t have full control about that process and we weren’t giving people the best experience. We knew if we were going to take insurance to the next level, then maybe we need to control that product and be involved in product end-to-end,” Pedro said. 

Casava got its micro-insurance licence in 2019 and launched fully in April 2021, providing general and life insurance products to millions of Nigerians. Today, it already has more than 66,000 customers, with $16 million in insurance coverage, per its website.

Companies like Casava are working towards making insurance coverage affordable and accessible to Nigerians and Africans. Traditional insurance companies have built their business for corporations and not suited for small transactions, that is, the mass market. Casava is changing that.

With Casava, consumers can subscribe to insurance products via its website, mobile app or WhatsApp, and are given a month-free trial to set up, with an option to opt out if they are not satisfied with the service. According to Casava, subscribers can insure their income from ₦500 monthly, and get paid monthly for six months if they lose their job, become sick or disabled.

The company will also include value-added services to subscribers who wish to continue on their platform, in the form of executive coaching, telemedicine and job services.

Casava’s Health Insurance product enables subscribers access more than 1,000 doctors on telemedicine as well as 900 hospitals across Nigeria. It’s HealthCash products reimburses users when they visit the hospital for specific periods, for ₦250 – ₦300 monthly.

The funding will be used for customer acquisition, growth and to launch more products, from life and travel insurance, to home and smartphone insurance.

“We have delivery, insurance, logistics insurance, I mean, it’s fascinating what we’re doing and the idea is that it’s one subscription with flexible payment options,” Pedro said.

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