Johannesburg-based insurtech start-up Pineapple is on an expansion drive after bagging a Series A funding round of R80 million, from various investors.
Pineapple launched in the South African market in mid-2018, providing a range of insurance offerings via its mobile app or website, underwritten by Old Mutual Insure and founding partner Hannover-Re.
The start-up offers insurance for individual items such as gadgets, cellphones, vehicles, jewellery and home appliances, through a sign-up process that takes less than 90 seconds.
The company says it is preparing for nationwide expansion following the funding, secured from investors which include Lireas Holdings, ASISA ESD Fund, E4E, Vunani Capital and Old Mutual Enterprise & Supplier Development Fund.
Co-founder Ndabenhle Ngulube attributes the success of the round to the unprecedented growth the company has seen in the first half of this year.
“We did not expect to grow by 200% in the first six months of this year, but it goes to show that customer insurance purchase behaviour is starting to shift online and that customers are becoming more astute as to the online ratings of insurance providers and not settling for ‘second best’ with respect to customer experience,” he notes.
The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in local insurtech companies witnessing a surge in life and asset insurance policy sales.
Last year, online insurance players Simply Financial Services and Naked told ITWeb they have seen strong growth of sales since the onset of the pandemic, as more consumers took to digital channels to purchase insurance.
Matthew Elan Smith, co-founder of Pineapple, says the funds will be used to scale its offering, as well as for growing the company’s overseas partnerships, including that with Travelers insurance in the US.
“We intend to utilise the investment to continue to enhance our motor insurance offering, as well as our team, to accommodate the growing Pineapple community.
“We will also be investing in various new product and feature initiatives, such as building safety features into the Pineapple mobile app, as well as continuing to expand our artificial intelligence-core to provide improvements to the customer journey, claims automation and risk detection to continue to offer our members more affordable premiums,” notes Smith.