Kenyan startup PesaBazaar is looking to shake up the country’s insurance market by taking it online. And it’s being backed to succeed.
The company only formally began operating in February of this year, but has been backed to the tune of US$400,000 by a group of local angel investors to conquer the insurance market and expand into other verticals.
An online insurance comparison platform, the idea for PesaBazaar was conceived in early 2015 by co-founders Calleb Karegyesa and Prashanth Srinivas.
“It was started out of our own personal frustrations trying to get any information online on local medical and car insurance for family,” Karegyesa told Disrupt Africa.
The first viable version of the product was quickly built, and funding raised by August. A team was put together in time for operations to begin in November, and the startup formally launched in February of this year.
A pretty quick turnaround, but Karegyesa believes the opportunity is too good to pass up. PesaBazaar aggregates insurance products for individuals, SMEs and corporates from leading insurance underwriters. Until now, the bulk of this market has been offline.
“The largest part of the insurance market in Kenya is served by brokers and agents. These operate offline and typically work with only a handful of insurance underwriters,” Karegyesa said.
“These intermediaries normally dictate what products consumers purchase. Consumers do not have much say in what products they purchase. We want to give the power and transparency to consumers to allow them firstly to understand insurance products, and secondly to compare accurate and insightful quotations from all the leading insurance providers before making a purchase.”
This empowerment takes place by building a service consumers can trust. PesaBazaar has taken on a team of insurance experts, who systematically rank insurance products to allow consumers to compare different offerings using the criteria that is most important to them.
Other verticals and markets are likely to follow for PesaBazaar if it has strong enough uptake in Kenya, where it is already seeing revenues from generating leads and sales for insurance companies.
“Kenya’s insurance market is growing rapidly so we see a lot of potential and business opportunities in this sector going forward,” said Karegyesa.
“Kenya is our primary focus at this time, we will be going outside shortly. We are expanding our service offering in the insurance vertical and in new verticals.”