BimaLab Innovation Accelerator opens applications to support Kenyan InsurTech startups

KENYA – BimaLab, an initiative of FSD Africa, the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Kenya, and Tellistic Technology Services has opened applications for its second cohort into its KES 5.3 million (approximately US$50,000) InsurTech accelerator program.

The BimaLab  2 accelerator program is open to 12 innovators who will benefit from a ten-week program that will provide them with expertise, resources, and support to develop and scale market-ready solutions following BimaLab I, a  successful pilot ran in collaboration with the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Kenya (IRA Kenya), the UK-Kenya Tech Hub, the UK Department of Trade, Prudential Life Assurance and implemented by Tellistic Technology Services in January 2021.

According to Kevin Massingham, Director, Risk & Resilience, FSD Africa, “At FSD Africa, we are committed to the growth of the insurance sector and are excited to be involved in grooming the next generation of insurance innovators. By supporting start-up innovators through the BimaLab II accelerator programme, we will not only enhance insurance coverage but also deliver insurance solutions that are both convenient and efficient.”

BimaLab I  identified eight early and mid-stage start-ups with solutions for a cross-section of industry sectors including general insurance, health and agriculture.

The BimaLab accelerator was created to bring visibility to talented founders of early to mid-stage start-ups and to help them gain access to the resources and recognition they need to gain traction.

 The pilot program culminated in 3 of the start-ups receiving a grant award of KShs1.25 million (US$ 11,551) each, a total of KShs3.75 million (US$34,653) sponsored by Prudential Life Assurance Kenya.

“By supporting start-up innovators through the BimaLab II accelerator programme, we will not only enhance insurance coverage but also deliver insurance solutions that are both convenient and efficient”

Kevin Massingham – Director, Risk & Resilience, FSD Africa

While technology has solved inherent challenges around financial inclusion, access to healthcare and the delivery of government services, its potential within the insurance sector remains untapped.

 Technology can help expand insurance coverage by delivering products that are tailored for low-income consumers, particularly women, smallholder farmers and gig economy workers.

Innovations developed through BimaLab could also benefit consumers outside of Kenya and as part of the program, IRA will collaborate with regulators from Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania to build an enabling environment that supports the uptake of insurance innovations across Africa.

Mr. Godfrey Kiptum, Commissioner of Insurance and IRA CEO said: “The Authority was keen on enhancing insurtech initiatives as it seeks to promote the development of the insurance market and thereby increase financial access and inclusion. We have identified market development as a key pillar towards financial access and inclusion and to realize this, we have put in place deliberate measures to enhance insurtech and the Bimalab is one such initiative.”

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