Kenya’s Bismart Secures Investment From GreenTec Capital
Now regarded in many quarters as the first Kenyan company to incorporate blockchain technology into its operations, Bismart has now entered into an investment agreement with Germany’s GreenTec Capital.
The Kenyan startup, which is an insurance aggregator that is looking to utilize the opportunities afforded by digital platforms and technologies to educate and advice its customers on the best insurance and investment solutions available in the Kenyan market, is now poised to widen the scope of its operations on the backs of this new agreement with the German firm.
Headquartered in Frankfurt, GreenTec Capital; a German investment firm that is focused on African startups, is now expected to invest an undisclosed sum in Bismart, pursuant to the stipulations of the investment agreement. This is with a view to assisting the Kenyan startup in its bid to upscale its digital and online platforms, so as to reach out to a wider spectrum of insurance customers and identify the best investment solutions that are on offer in the African Market.
As announced in Frankfurt, the agreement will see Bismart garner benefits in the way of expertise from GreenTec Capital, as well as the experience of the German investment firm when it comes to funding startups in Africa through process optimization and capacity building.
A team of international experts will also be made available to the Kenyan company, courtesy of GreenTec. This is expected to foster the implementation of adapted latest technology to their business model, with a view to extending its local value chain and creating more impact.
As stated by Eunice Maina, CEO Bismart Insurance; “By using emerging technologies to address the issues of financing and transparency in insurance, Bismart aims to empower the customer to be more financially independent, with the ultimate aim of increasing insurance penetration in Kenya, which is still very slow.” When questioned as per the company’s expansion plans going forward and how Bismart was able to garner interest from the German investors, the CEO revealed to WeeTracker; “We put Bismart’s profile on the VC4A website and that is how GreenTec found us. Then, they reached out to us via LinkedIn. We are currently in the Kenyan market, but we have been contacted by bigger organizations that would like to collaborate in the expansion of our insurance solution into other African countries. We are keen on partnering with other organizations and serving their customers to facilitate the access to insurance. She further revealed that the investment agreement with GreenTec is coming in as seed stage funding for Bismart.”
As implied by her comments in the aftermath of the new partnership, the CEO pointed out that the digital interference that is being developed by the company with assistance from GreenTec, will go some way toward the distribution of insurance products across various regions of Africa. The new development is also envisaged to facilitate the rapid roll-out and scaling of the business. The CEO also believes that the platform provided by the agreement with the German firm will enable Bismart to step up its operations in terms of efficiency and transparency through the implementation of Blockchain technology’s “smart contracts”, as well as enhance policy management and leverage the benefits from the security of decentralized databases.
With this agreement, Bismart is in line to become the first Kenyan company to adopt Blockchain technology in its operations. The provisions of this novel technology serve up an incorruptible distributed digital ledger containing transactions that are easily-verifiable, yet protected from any external influence or corruption. The technology also allows information to be distributed across several locations simultaneously.
According to Erick Yong, CEO of GreenTec; “one of the biggest challenges for innovative startups in Africa is the implementation of solutions with distributed channels that have Pan-African reach. Bismart’s application of emerging technologies solves this problem brilliantly, while disrupting the insurance value chain from customer acquisition to risk management.”
Bismart’s latest investment agreement with GreenTec, is coming in the wake of a previous commitment from an initial investment to develop its platform, and service offerings are expected to be launched by the start of the fourth quarter of 2018. The Kenyan company is reported to have also benefited from a seed capital of USD 10 K by Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech program in April 2018, as well as a nine-month office space at IBIZ Africa Incubator as an incentive for being crowned as the most innovative and scalable business model in Kenya.