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Kenyan insurtech startup Turaco raises $1.2m seed investment [Updated]

Featured image: Turaco co-founder and CEO Ted Pantone (LinkedIn)

Nairobi-based insurtech startup Turaco has raised a $1.2-million seed investment which it intends to use to further scale its operations across Africa.

Turaco, which also has an office in Atlanta in the US, partners with local companies and mobile lending organisations to provide simple and affordable medical cover to under-served and un-served communities.

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The startup, whose founder sare CEO Ted Pantone (pictured above) and Peter Gross, announced in a statement yesterday that the investors who contributed to the seed round, include Gan Ventures, Mercy Corps Ventures and Musha Ventures.

Turaco was launched in 2008, its founders include CEO Ted Pantone

Launched in 2008, Turaco offers life and health insurance products — for monthly premiums that are as low as $2 — which are distributed through partnerships.

Turaco’s subscription model enables consumers to opt in for automated medical policy renewals which are bundled with their existing payments. The startup says it has insured more than 30 000 users in Kenya and Uganda.

Turaco explained in its statement that the funding, which was raised in September, will be used to cement it presence in new markets and further develop its ongoing pilots and partnerships with businesses and fintech companies.

The startup said it is looking at entering one or two new markets in East and West Africa next year.

Pantone, commenting on the round in the statement, said Turaco was “blessed” to be able to choose from a group of investors with different specialities.

“These range from social impact and value alignment to industry understanding and connections in Silicon Valley.

“In our next round of funding, we are looking for additional value-aligned investors who have the capacity to support us in our vision to insure a billion people,” he added.

In June, Turaco was selected to join the Catalyst Fund‘s fintech accelerator programme along with three other Africa-focused and one Brazilian startup (see this story).

US tech publication TechCrunch reported in an article at the time that each of the four startups would receive between $50 000 and $60 000 in non-equity funding.

Last year Turaco received a $40 000 grant from Villgro Kenya.

Editor’s note (12 December 2019): The initial story was updated to include emailed comment from Turaco on its expansion plans, the identity of its co-founder and details on when the investment was concluded.

Featured image: Turaco co-founder and CEO Ted Pantone (LinkedIn)

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