YC-backed Nigerian insurtech startup Curacel unveils new product Grow

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Nigerian insurtech startup Curacel, an AI-powered platform for claims processing and fraud management in Africa, has announced itself as a participant in the latest Y Combinator cohort while also launching Grow, an an embedded insurance product that empowers technology companies to seamlessly offer insurance as part of their existing products and services.

Formed in 2017, Curacel automates the insurance claims process, allowing staff to process claims volumes quickly and efficiently, and automatically vets claims to detect fraud, waste and abuse. 

Having begun life as an electronic health information management system, the startup has developed into an insurtech infrastructure company that helps insurers and partners in Africa and other emerging markets increase the reach and functionality of insurance through cloud-based tools and APIs. 

Curacel, which raised a pre-seed funding round a year ago and now works with 15 insurance companies in eight African markets, has just been confirmed as the latest participant in the Winter 2022 cohort of Silicon Valley’s prestigious Y Combinator accelerator, joining a host of other African companies. The W22 batch of the programme, which played a role in the early days of companies like Airbnb, Coinbase and Dropbox among others, is currently taking place, and concludes with a demo day at the end of this month.

At the same time, Curacel is launching a new product called Grow, to support more effective distribution of insurance to millions of Africans through partners like Barter by Flutterwave, Float, Payhippo and other leading technology companies. It will also enable seamless embedding of insurance in customer user journeys. 

Insurance penetration in Africa currently stands at less than three per cent, with most policies sold offline and manually via brokers and agents. This cumbersome process makes insurance products expensive and out of reach for many price-sensitive Africans. Using Grow, however, insurers can accelerate the distribution of their products by taking advantage of Curacel’s technology to easily embed insurance within other digital experiences in a more accessible way.

Technology companies can also increase their recurring revenue by offering the protection their consumers need without the hassle of finding integration and negotiating terms with insurers and brokers. The solution is designed to integrate seamlessly with any technology platform and Curacel’s AI-powered infrastructure means claims can be submitted and processed in real time.

“Risk protection is a major consideration for Africa’s growing middle class. As it becomes easier to access credit and other financial services to enable new experiences, we want to make it easier to protect these experiences and enjoy them with full confidence. The success of various technology companies over the years has opened the door to many previously underserved people and we want to take advantage of this to accelerate the penetration of much needed insurance products across the continent,” said Henry Mascot, CEO and co-founder of Curacel.

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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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