Four Ethiopian companies have been selected to participate in the 2023 cohort of the BimaLab Africa Insurtech Accelerator Program which aims to support promising insurance innovators and ventures in Africa.
Kacha Digital Financial Services, Orbit Health, Saglan Wajee General Hospital, and Kifiya Financial Technologies are the Ethiopian companies that made it to the program alongside 19 other African companies.
BimaLab Africa will run for five months and is designed to help insurtechs develop scalable solutions to reduce Africa’s large risk protection gap caused by external threats such as climate change, natural disasters, health risks, and economic disruptions. Additionally, the top three ventures will receive $30,000 in equity-free funding to help scale their solutions.
Kacha is the first private firm to receive a mobile money license from the National Bank of Ethiopia, while Saglan Wajee General Hospital is a private general hospital covering the West Shewa, Welega, and Benishangul regions. Kifiya, a local tech firm, developed Tila, a micro-insurance product that protects farmers from drought shocks.
Meanwhile, Orbit Health provides digital solutions to the health sector, such as electronic patient management software and hospital management systems used to file and track patient records, medical histories, and medical care practices.
As an eligibility criterion, the applicants were required to demonstrate that their businesses make innovative use of technology (hardware or software) to reduce costs, improve product experience, and/or open financial services to the underserved. In addition, insurtech innovations that fill market gaps and contribute to inclusion in sectors such as agriculture, health, housing, renewable energy, and others were also prioritized.
The BimaLab Africa, a platform developed by FSD Africa, was open to applicants from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Egypt, and Morocco. It was set up to address challenges facing insurtechs, such as lack of technical capacity, access to funding, access to strategic partnerships, and regulatory barriers.
During the program, the selected companies will gain access to regulatory expertise and resources in partnership with regulators in ten countries, mentorship, access to a global network of stakeholders, connections for local investments from the cohort group, and an opportunity to pitch their innovative solution during Demo Day.
The launch ceremony for the program was held today, April 20, 2023, in Kigali, Rwanda.