Lami, a Kenyan insurance technology company, has acquired Bluewave Insurance Agency, a Nairobi-based insurtech company that leverages mobile technology to reach Africa’s underserved population and close the insurance gap. Adelaide Odhiambo, the founder of Bluewave insurance, will serve as Lami’s head of commercial partnerships.
Since its inception in 2016, Bluewave has developed an online platform that allows clients to receive micro-insurance products through a range of channels, including USSD, SMS, WhatsApp chatbots, and web applications. As part of the new arrangement, Lami will integrate Bluewave’s technology into its core platform, enhancing its business to business to consumer (B2B2C) capabilities.
The acquisition will enable Lami to continue in its aim of democratizing insurance products and services for low-income Africans by providing them with convenient and affordable policies that cover a wide range of risks.
The acquisition is also intended to pave the way for Bluewave’s expansion into additional African markets outside Kenya, this includes Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Gambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it currently operates.
Lami will be able to continue its mission of democratizing insurance products and services for low-income Africans by offering them convenient and affordable policies that cover a wide variety of risks as a result of the purchase.
The purchase will also pave the way for Bluewave to expand into other African markets outside of Kenya, including Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Gambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it now operates.
Lami’s customer segment/products are also projected to grow as a result of the acquisition. Bluewave, for example, has over 60,000 smallholder farmers in Malawi covered by their dynamic micro-insurance platform, which gives them access to policies. Micro-insurance products available on the platform include those from mobile network operators (Telecom Kenya), banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), agriculture/crop policies (improving food security), and mass-market digitally-driven goods reaching thousands of users through a streamlined enrolment procedure.
“This year, we’re looking at expanding our market,” she added. “That’s why this acquisition was so exciting; it gives us a leg up as we continue to grow.” Micro-payments, flexible sign-ups, quick claim turnaround, and access to a wide range of services through digital services like Lami’s are driving insurance uptake by allowing micro-payments, flexible sign-ups, quick claim turnaround, and access to a wide range of services through digital services like Lami’s.
Lami co-designs products with its underwriting partners, enabling them to offer unique insurance products to their customers, and simplifies the distribution of insurance goods through its technology infrastructure via a B2B2C strategy. The API provided by the startup allows businesses such as banks to offer digital insurance products to their customers, allowing them to reach a larger audience.
Lami’s API has been integrated with 12 different entities over the years, including logistics, e-commerce, banking, and finance, allowing consumers to access a variety of products. Sendy, a digital logistics startup, and Kwara, a neobank for credit unions, are two firms with which Lami has existing connections. Sendy’s relationship allows freight carriers in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) to purchase transit insurance on a per-trip basis, and Kwara’s collaboration makes insurance products more accessible.
“Africa has a growing need for insurance solutions to help mitigate the significant danger that a lack of coverage poses by burying its people in massive financial burdens,” – Odhiambo says.
“By partnering with Lami, we look forward to moving faster in software development, marketing, expansion, and fast-track delivery of the most required insurance products.” “I am truly thrilled to be joining forces with the team to address an issue that our continent sorely needs; Jihan is highly intelligent, brilliant, and exudes confidence and charisma attributes that are excellent for strong leadership; I am truly thrilled to be joining forces with the team to address an issue that our continent sorely needs.” Bluewave has invested in cutting-edge technology for its online platform, which allows clients to access microinsurance products via USSD, SMS, WEB Applications, IVR, and telemedicine.
“I am excited about this acquisition and believe it will produce exponential growth for both companies,” stated Roy Perlot, Lami Technologies’ CFO. This acquisition will help us create a more competitive environment for insurtech in Africa by providing increased resources, enhanced technology and innovation, expertise, and market expansion as we continue to work on providing insurance products that are affordable and convenient for all Africans.” Despite the acquisition, Bluewave will retain ownership of its business, while Lami will take over the Bluewave staff and commercial alliances to continue operations.
Lami was launched in 2018 and raised $1.8 million in seed funding last year to bring affordable insurance to the typical African consumer.