Root, a startup carving a niche for itself in Africa, while helping businesses roll out insurance products faster than the traditional way has closed $3m and are on their way to building a global infrastructure to scale up the digital insurance economy.
In the adoption of digital technologies, Insurance lags behind other financial institutions. Although a number of unicorns like Tractable and Lemonade have risen from the modern digital insurance space, this sector is struggling to catch up with the stage.
The insurance sector is estimated to be worth over $5 billion and that leaves a plethora of untapped opportunities irrespective of the large incumbent.
CEO, Louw Hopley launched Root in 2016 to solve the bridge the gap between funding and developers thereby facilitating the use of API by financial institutions.
“We have a strong feeling is still stuck in the 1990s. Every industry has a personalized environment but insurance is still lagging behind because paper is still being used in a digital age like this.”
“And that’s what we’re trying to eradicate by using API systems to break down these barriers,” he added.
Before providing APIs for insurance companies, Root first produced programmable bank accounts and cards.
The five-year-old company targets non-insurance businesses with already existing clientele and helps them build and integrate client experiences on a website, mobile application or chatbox. They also provide mediums to reach more clients and take compliance issues.
Root makes money through licensing and subscription fees based on the size and complexity of the client. It plans to expand its operations to other parts of the world, Europe especially.
“The UK, Germany, France are top locations that we look to explore, but a large part of our company operations will remain in South Africa.”, Hopley said.
“We hope to expand into new regions and put in place operating systems for the global insurance industry,” he added.
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