Kenya’s insurance technological startup, Lami has acquired Bluewave Insurance Agency – a Kenyan startup that leverages on mobile technology to reach the underserved population by tapping into the gap present in the African insurance industry.
As part of Lami’s objective of democratising insurance goods and services for low-earning Africans by offering its users accessible and affordable plans, the acquisition set a path for the growth for the company as it expands to new African markets beyond Kenya to Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Gambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where Bluewave already has its operations.
Futhermore, the acquisition will also see Adelaide Odhiambo, CEO of Bluewave, join the team of Lami led by Jihan Abass CEO of as Director of Commercial Partnerships to become stronger as they forge ahead in their mission towards democratizing insurance products and services for low-income.
Lami which was founded in 2018 by Jihan Abass and had raised $1.8 million in 2021 in a seed funding round to upscale affordable insurance products to the average African consumer.
Bluewave, founded in 2016 by Adelaide Odhiambo – a MicroInsurance Consultant, has invested in cutting-edge technology for its online platform since its inception. This allows its clients to access micro-insurance products through a variety of channels, including USSD, SMS, WEB Applications, IVR, telemedicine, and mobile application support for medical businesses, among others.
Prior to been acquired by Lami, Bluewave, has a current business growth of 65,000 policies and potential growth of hundreds of thousands in 2022.
Speaking on the acquisition, Jihan Abass, Lami Technologies founder and CEO expressed delight to be working with Adelaide Odhiambo towards a common vision.
“One of the things that really made us excited about this opportunity was the fact that we are working towards a very common vision of democratizing access to insurance. Our visions were very much aligned”, Abass said.
“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 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”, she added.
While Lami is currently in the Ugandan and Tanzanian markets through partnerships, the platform said the new acquisition will enable it enter Nigeria and a number of countries in North Africa this year.
She said, “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.”
Commenting on what is to be expected to happen within the insurance space, Abbas said that the insurance sector will be faced with constant disruption geared towards more personalized products as technology continues to inspire new products and processes.
“You’re going to see a lot more data driven pricing that takes into account the risks involved 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,” she said.
Adding to the thoughts of Abass, Adelaide Odhiambo, CEO of Bluewave said that the African continent has an ever-growing need for insurance solutions to aid in reducing the huge impact that the risk of the lack of coverage creates by sinking its people into huge financial burdens. She added that joining forces with Lami would aid in addressing certain issues and threats that the absence of insurance could cause in the continent.
She said, “Africa has an ever-growing need for insurance solutions to help reduce the huge impact the risk of the lack of coverage creates by sinking its people into huge financial burdens. By joining forces with Lami, we look forward to moving faster in software development, marketing, expansion, and fast-track delivery of the most needed insurance solutions”.
“Jihan is incredibly talented, brilliant, and exudes confidence and charisma qualities that are excellent for strong leadership, I am indeed so excited to be joining forces with the team to solve a problem our continent so desperately requires”, Odhiambo concluded.