Africa and New York-based climate insurance provider and impact investor Worldcover has secured USD 6 Mn Series A round led by MS&AD Ventures.Y-Combinator, Western Technology Investment, and EchoVC also participated in the round.
WorldCover protects farmers around the world from droughts, by offering satellite-enabled insurance delivered with mobile money. WorldCover leverages on technology to create insurance options for farmers whose produce has been adversely affected by unreliable rainfall.
Reportedly, it actively uses 46 technologies for its website. These include Viewport Meta, IPhone / Mobile Compatible, and Google Analytics Active Products.
The startup is currently present in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and intends to grow its market further with the new investment. With the round, the startup will also consider advancing its platform to offer farming tips to small-scale farmers in addition to their insurance cover.
Worldcover has liaised with local payment providers like M-Pesa and MTN to ensure their services become accessible to farmers from different regions. Farmers connect to Worldcover by creating an account on its USSD mobile app. They then key in their details: region they are, crop type.
So far, the company founded by Christopher Sheehan and Shiliang Tang has served more than 30,000 African farmers. Some of the common crops grown by WorldCover clients include maize, rice, and peanuts. The company intends to add cashews, coffee, cocoa in the list later on.
Common crops farmed by WorldCover clients include maize, rice, and peanuts. It looks to add coffee, cocoa, and cashews to its coverage list. It currently insures rainfall risk but is optimistic that it will include other eventualities in future.
“We insure for adverse weather events that we believe climate change factors are exacerbating,” Sheehan explained.
WorldCover investor and EchoVC founder Eghosa Omoigui is confident that startup’s insurance offerings can boost farmers’ yield. “Weather-risk drives a lot of decisions with these farmers on what to plant, when to plant, and how much to plant,” he said. “With the crop insurance option, the farmer says, ‘Instead of one hector, I can now plant two or three, because I’m covered.”
Featured Image Courtesy: Financial Times