Cape Town insurance startup Hepstar bags $2m funding

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Cape Town-based digital insurance distribution startup Hepstar has received US$$2 million in funding from Amadeus Capital Partners, which it plans to use to expand its global reach, accelerate its tech development and grow its brand.

Launched in 2013, Hepstar helps the likes of airlines, e-commerce and travel companies to maximise revenue from ancillaries, ands has over the last year grown its presence across Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Australia.

Key clients include CarTrawler, South African Airways, ClickBus, IATI, Flightsite and Travelstart, with the company having signed strategic partnerships with some of the leading Global Distribution Systems, as well as insurance companies.

“The global airline ancillary opportunity is around US$60 billion. We can help our partners make up to 30 per cent of their net revenues from insurance ancillaries,” said Hepstar chief financial officer (CFO) Brett Dyason.

“We’re extremely pleased about our partnership with Amadeus Capital Partners. They understand our business and vision. Hepstar has grown organically to date and we are now anticipating growth of 150 per cent in 2016. This investment will allow us to focus on innovation, sales and local talent acquisition.”

Amadeus Capital Partners’ investment into Hepstar has been made through the Digital Prosperity Fund. Backed by MTN Group, the fund assists growth companies to develop online and mobile applications in emerging markets such as Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Andrea Traversone, investment partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, said Hepstar was a prime candidate for investment due to its focus in expanding its existing reach in Africa and the Middle East while simultaneously developing Latin America.

“Amadeus Capital is excited to be involved in Hepstar,” he said. “They are solving a real problem regarding insurance distribution during a time when ancillary revenue is becoming increasingly important for e-commerce companies. Given the prowess they have demonstrated in this niche we expect they will be a leading supplier in this market in the near future.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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