Pula, an InsureTech service provider that specialises in digital and agricultural insurance to de-risk smallholder farmers across Africa, has closed a US$6 million Series A fund with TLcom Capital.
According to a statement to the media issued yesterday, the new investment would be used to scale-up operations in Pula’s existing 13 markets across Africa.
The Series A fund was led by TLcom Capital, with the participation of Women’s World Banking.
Currently, Pula has impacted over 4.3 million farmers on the African continent and the new funding would also help to propel its expansion into Asia to power resilience and profitability for Asian small-holder farmers, reads the statement.
Launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help small-holder farmers endure climate risks.
Other services include improving small-holders’ farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.
“For small-holder farmers in emerging markets, the traditional method of calculating insurance through farm visits is often unaffordable for farmers, meaning these farmers are often neglected from financial protection against climate risks,” the statement read.
“Through its area yield index insurance product, Pula leverages machine learning, crop cuts experiments and data points relating to weather patterns and farmer losses to build products which caters for a variety of risks including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and diseases.”
Pula’s key clientele include the likes of the World Food Programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Zambian government and the Kenyan government.
Speaking on the new fundraise, Pula co-founder and co-chief executive officer Rose Goslinga said: “when Thomas and I launched Pula in 2015, we had one goal in mind: to build and deliver scalable insurance solutions for Africa’s 700 million small-holder farmers and with our latest funding, now is the time to break into new ground.
“In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products but the fact remains that across Africa and other emerging markets, there are still millions of small-holder farmers with risks to their livelihoods that have not been covered.”
Meanwhile, Maurizio Caio, managing partner and founder at TLcom Capital, said in Pula, his organisation had found a company addressing a hugely underserved market in one of Africa’s key drivers of growth.
“This [is] an opportunity for major economic upside. The potential for the insurance market for small-holder farmers in Africa is huge and under the leadership of Rose and Thomas, Pula has rapidly established a strong presence throughout the continent and has a number of high-profile clients on their books,” said Caio.
“We are confident of Pula’s potential for growth in spite of the pandemic and look forward to partnering with them as they execute the next phase of their journey.”
Miner succumbs to injuries at Kansanshi Mine
A MINER at Kansanshi Mine lost his life when a rock fell on him in the underground dewatering decline portal, part of the mine’s ongoing development in the main pit.
The incident took place on Thursday around 20:00 hours.
The victim, Stephen Musukwa, employed by the mine’s contractor Reliant Drilling, sustained injuries and was promptly attended to by paramedics.
According to the Mine’s corporate affairs department, Mr Musukwa was subsequently evacuated to South Africa for treatment, where, he succumbed to his injuries.
“The relevant authorities have been informed and are at the scene of the incident.Our sincere condolences go out to his family, workmates and friends.Our priority for now is to ensure that his family receives our support during this difficult time,” reads the statement.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 25th November, 2023)
Police say over 50 people swindled in fake roofing sheets scam
OVER 50 people swindled after they paid more than K700, 000 in order to buy Iron sheets.
Chongwe man nabbed for allegedly smuggling 16 Ethiopians
FOUR people among them Geoffrey Chumbwe have been arrested for suspected migrant smuggling involving 16 Ethiopians.
Mr Chumbwe 32 in company of Samson Masuka,34 believed to be the master mind, Kakoma Masumba aged 31 and Renson Sinkala aged 25 were nabbed during an operation which began as a routine patrol.
In a statement, Department of Immigration public relations officer Namati Nshinka said the operation took place on Wednesday, November 22nd.
“The operation quickly escalated when Immigration Officers received information that a White Fortuner Registration number BBD 671 carrying suspected illegal immigrants had been spotted near Water Falls Mall in Lusaka’s Silverest Area. Following this lead, the Officers rushed to the scene and eventually located the vehicle, which was empty at the time most likely after the driver had dropped off the passengers at an unknown location,” he said.
Mr Nshinka said the Officers started trailing the vehicle until the Driver, Mr Chumbwe, parked the vehicle which appeared to have been modified by removing the back seats to maximize carrying capacity.
He said Mr Chumbwe initially expressed ignorance regarding the whereabouts of the suspected Ethiopians.
“He instead led the officers to Kaunda Square, where Kakoma Masumba and Renson Sinkala, whom he alleged had transported the Ethiopians from Kasama, resided. The officers picked the two suspects and further investigations led them to Geoffrey Chumbwe’s Residence in Silverest where the officers found 16 undocumented suspected Ethiopians in a Gazebo,” he said.
Similarly, the Department of Immigration in Mansa on November 18th and 19th apprehended 35 persons during a clean-up operation dubbed ‘Operation Kolopa’.
Mr Nshinka explained that the operation was mainly on the Pemba Islands on the Luapula River, which is believed to have an influx of suspected illegal immigrants engaged in agricultural and fishing activities.
‘Those apprehended were 33 Congolese, 32 of whom were nabbed for illegal entry and unlawful stay and one for engaging in business without a Permit, and two Chinese for failure to observe the terms and conditions of their permits,” he saids.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 24th November, 2023)