Lami Technologies, Kenyan Insurtech Startup Acquires Bluewave Insurance Agency

Lami Technologies, a Kenyan insurtech startup has acquired Bluewave Insurance Agency for an undisclosed amount, entered Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo as it seeks for markets in Africa

Bluewave insurance, also a Kenyan startup, was founded by Adelaide Odhiambo, who now joins Lami as the head of commercial partnerships.

Since its launch in 2016, Bluewave has built an online platform that allows clients to access micro-insurance products through diverse channels including USSD, SMS, WhatsApp chatbots, and web applications.

In the new arrangement, Lami will integrate Bluewave’s technology into its core platform further enhancing its B2B2C capabilities.

Lami technologies has entered Malawi, DRC

The deal has also opened up new markets for Lami in Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where Bluewave already has operations.

By having access to Malawi, for instance, Lami Technologies will tap thousands of smallholder farmers including the 60,000 already on Bluewave Insurance Agency database.

Lami Technologies founder and CEO Jihan Abass, during an interview about the acquisition, said that One of the things that really made the firm excited about this opportunity was the fact that both are working towards a very common vision of democratizing access to insurance.

“The Bluewave team had created modules (like USSD-based micro insurance products), which we felt could particularly enhance our B2B2C offerings. They’ve done quite a lot of work around claims modules for micro insurance products. All these different things can be integrated into the core Lami technologies platform. We can also continue to build on top of it, and also use parts of our technology to enhance offerings, like our advanced pricing modules, to make that experience much better,” said Abass.

The acquisition comes at a time when Lami Technologies is looking to enter Nigeria and a number of countries in North Africa this year. Outside Kenya, Lami is in other markets like Uganda and Tanzania through partnerships.

“We’re looking at additional markets this year. That’s our core focus and why this acquisition was super-exciting; it gives us the upper hand as we continue to expand,” she said.

Innovations and expansion of digital services like Lami Technologies are driving insurance uptake by allowing micro-payments, flexible sign-ups, fast-turnaround time for claims and access to a wide range of services through mobile phones.

In Africa, insurance penetration is less than 3%; and if you take out South Africa the coverage drops to 1.2%. It is this gap that drove Abass to build Lami technologies, which was launched in Kenya in 2018.

Lami technologies co-designs products with its underwriting partners, extending unique insurance products to their customers, and through its technological infrastructure, facilitates the distribution of insurance products via a B2B2C approach.

The startup’s API allows entities like banks to offer digital insurance products to their customers – reaching the masses conveniently.

Over the years, Lami technologies has integrated its API with 12 entities in various sectors including logistics, e-commerce, banking and fintech, extending different products to their users.

Among the companies that Lami technologies has existing partnerships with is Sendy, a digital logistics startup, and Kwara, a neo-bank for credit unions.

The partnership with Sendy enables freight carriers in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) to access transit insurance per-trip basis, while its work with Kwara makes insurance products accessible to the over 60,000 SACCO members.

As technology continues to inspire new products and processes, Abbas projects that the insurance sector is going to face constant disruption geared towards more personalized products.

“You’re going to see a lot more data driven pricing that takes into account the risks involved,” she said.

“ And I think that’s going to really help make products more affordable, because there’ll be more customized products. I think we’re also going to see a lot more use of AI, particularly around claims processing and also for pricing.”

ALSO READ: Sendy & Lami Technologies Partner to Launch Per-Trip Insurance Policies

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