Africa-focused impact investment firm Renew Capital announced its angel investors’ investment in Jamii.one, a micro-insurance startup that aims to improve financial health in Ethiopia through a digital platform utilizing community data.
The announcement, made on September 28, 2023, did not disclose the investment amount and stated that the partnership aims to enhance financial inclusion across Ethiopia.
Founded in 2018 by Charlotte Rønje (CEO), Daniel Brøndum Torp (CTO), and Tigist Bezu (COO), Jamii.one collaborates with self-organized Ethiopian community groups called “Idirs.” These groups pool monthly contributions for informal cooperative-like insurance covering funerals and other significant life events.
By digitizing these financial contributions, Jamii.one leverages the information to connect unbanked communities with the formal banking sector.
“When we entered the market, it didn’t take us long to introduce the Idir community to Jamii.one. After tailoring our product for Idir and enabling access to affordable group micro-life insurance, it was amazing to see the synergy of technology and community power,” said Tigist Bezu, co-founder and COO of Jamii.one.
The Jamii.one app is designed to accommodate low literacy levels, offer offline functionality, and support limited smartphone usage, making it accessible to a broader segment of the population.
The startup generates revenue by partnering with insurance companies to provide tailor-made insurance products for its users. Jamii.one has 700,000 users on its platform, with over 80,000 users insured.
Renew’s investment in Jamii.one follows a series of capital raises by the microinsurance startup in 2023. In June, it successfully raised $840,000 via Seedrs, a UK-based online equity crowdfunding platform for startups, surpassing its initial fundraising goal by 295%. Additionally, in May 2023, Jamii.one received a €150,000 grant from the Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF).
Jamii.one is working towards reaching 2.3 million users and expanding its product offerings, with a particular focus on health insurance products.
Renew Capital, which supports innovative companies with high growth potential, has a presence in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania. The firm manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels.