Startups & Ideas

Pula Secures $20 Million in Series B Funding to Expand Insurance Access for Smallholder Farmers

Pula, a pioneering Kenyan agricultural insurance and technology startup, has successfully closed a $20 million Series B funding round. The investment is aimed at expanding insurance coverage to smallholder farmers in emerging markets, who are frequently vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as floods and droughts.

The Series B round was led by BlueOrchard, a global impact investment manager, through its InsuResilience investment strategy. This strategy focuses on increasing access to insurance products to vulnerable populations in emerging markets, aligning perfectly with Pula’s mission. Other prominent participants included the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Hesabu Capital, among existing investors.

Pula’s Mission and Growth

Founded in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula is dedicated to addressing the distinct challenges faced by smallholder farmers through innovative insurance and technological solutions. These products are designed to help farmers withstand the impacts of severe weather and improve their agricultural practices and economic stability over time.

The startup has established a significant presence across Africa, with operations in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. Additionally, it has begun expanding its reach into Asia and Latin America. From its inception, Pula has demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing the resilience of food systems in these regions.

Innovations and Impact

Pula sets itself apart by integrating cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, remote sensing, and mobile-based systems into its services. This approach not only enhances the efficiency and scalability of their offerings but also keeps setup costs low, a crucial factor for sustainability in emerging markets.

The company’s business model is particularly innovative, as it does not sell insurance directly to farmers. Instead, Pula embeds its insurance products into the offerings of over 100 partner organizations, including government programs, NGOs, and financial institutions. This method ensures that insurance is more accessible and precisely tailored to meet the needs of smallholder farmers.

Achievements and Future Plans

Since its launch, Pula has collaborated with more than 70 insurance and 20 reinsurance companies, along with 100 distribution partners to deliver its products effectively. This extensive network has played a crucial role in the startup’s ability to reach and impact an increasing number of farmers.

The funds from the Series B round will be instrumental in expanding Pula’s capabilities and market presence over the next five years. One of the key initiatives will be the expansion of their livestock insurance program, which began as a pilot in Nigeria last year.

A Vision for the Future

With this new round of funding, Pula aims to continue its growth trajectory and increase its impact on global food security and farmer welfare. The startup’s ambitious “triple 100 vision” aims to bring insurance to 100 million smallholder farmers, thereby significantly enhancing the resilience and productivity of agricultural practices in vulnerable regions around the world.

Pula’s co-founder, Thomas Njeru, expressed enthusiasm about the funding round, stating, “Partnering with this group of like-minded investors to boost the growth of Pula globally is a very exciting milestone in driving our triple 100 vision.”

Pula’s Series B funding marks a significant step forward in the global effort to enhance the sustainability and resilience of food systems through technological innovation. By making insurance more accessible to smallholder farmers, Pula not only helps protect them against the volatility of climate impacts but also supports their contributions to the global food supply, demonstrating a scalable solution to a complex global challenge.


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