Insurtech Start-up OKO has closed an extension round of $500,000 USD, and announced their plans to launch in the Ivory Coast with their existing partners, Orange, Allianz and Touton, to bring affordable, low-cost insurance to more farmers in Africa.
The start-up operates in Mali and Uganda, and offers automated insurance using satellite data and mobile payments for farmers whose fields are negatively affected by weather patterns, mainly droughts and floods. Since its launch, OKO brought insurance to more than 15,000 farmers in Mali and Uganda.
OKO saw an impressive 6x growth in the number of paying customers from 2020 to 2021 and is continuing to expand its reach in 2022, with new crops covered, and new partnerships signed with financial institutions providing agricultural loans to insured farmers.
The extension round was made possible by global impact-tech accelerator Katapult, along with three business angels: Guillaume Leenhardt (CEO of Gentle Finance), Henry Allard (CEO of Filhet-Allard Maritime), and Lionel Dorie Founding Partner of Augusta Energy Group).
This announcement follows a recent seed investment in April 2021 of $1.2 million, which was led by by Newfund, ResiliAnce, and Mercy Corps Venture. A month later, OKO launched in Uganda, in collaboration with the Agro Insurance Consortium.
The launch in Ivory Coast will be an opportunity for OKO to collaborate directly with Touton (which invested in April 2021), leveraging Touton's assets and contributing to their efforts in creating a sustainable cocoa value chain.
Simon Schwall, Co-founder and CEO of OKO, said; "Ivory Coast has always been a priority market for us, so when we saw the opportunity to launch OKO there this year we jumped on it. We are bringing strong partners to make this expansion a success and we have big ambitions for the months to come."
Commenting on his company’s decision to invest, Fabrice Boullé, Investment Director for Katapult said, “We're thrilled to be partnering with such a high-performing team like OKO. We are a proud investor as they exemplify our philosophy: solving one of humanity's biggest problems, while having a strong impact, alongside outperforming financial returns. The commercial upside of their solution is important. The impact; even more crucial!”
About OKO :
OKO secures farmers’ income in emerging countries using automated insurance solutions. OKO is accessible to anyone with a phone, and claim payments are automated using satellite data and images. OKO graduated from the Techstars programme in 2018 and was listed in 2020 among the 50 most promising solutions for Financial Inclusion (Inclusive50) by Visa and MetLife foundation.
OKO is active in Mali and in Uganda, with plans to expand to many more markets in the coming years.
Katapult is an investment company and a foundation. The investment company focuses on highly scalable impact-tech startups. Katapult currently has 100M USD under management and has made 138 investments, including 30 direct investments, in startups across 35 countries that are working to implement the UNSDGs.
The Katapult Foundation was established in 2020, gathering all Katapult non-profit initiatives, such as the Accelerate Program, turning tech founders to impact investors, Katapult Future Fest, and the Nordic Impact Investment Network.