How Kenya’s mTek is working to increase country’s low insurance penetration

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Kenyan insurtech startup mTek is a 100 per cent digital insurance platform that seeks to get uninsured Kenyans insured by increasing the country’s three per cent market penetration.

Launched in 2020, mTek is a digital platform that provides an entirely paperless ecosystem for the insurance industry, and allows customers to purchase insurance directly from the insurer, compare insurance policies and file claims through their smart devices. mTek users have a wide range of insurance services to select from, with offerings from 35 Kenyan underwriters.

“mTek came into the market to address the issue of transparent, easily accessible and affordable insurance. In addition, we saw a need to reach the underserved populations through insurance-focused technology. The other gap was no insurer was offering a fully fledged digital solution which users can utilise from whichever part of Kenya they are at without having to fill out some paperwork,” said CEO Bente Krogmann.

“We found that the number of documents required to sign up for an insurance product were too many, hence discouraging conversion. As a result, we created a platform that is easy to understand, fast and simple to understand and in the times of COVID-19 able to provide users a fast turnaround time when it came to claims.”

This proved successful, with mTek already having 65,000 users spread across Kenya, mostly on medical and motor insurance. It is working on expanding further within the country, and indeed across East Africa, having so far secured US$3 million in funding from the Mauritius-based Finclusion Group. Krogmann said the startup’s main competition was the perception of the insurance sector in Kenya. 

“The consumers are skeptical of taking up insurance due to inaccessibility to insurance, ability to pay for insurance, inhibitive distribution channels, cumbersome claim settlement processes and perceived low returns for some policies,” she said.

“When we founded the company, we used our savings to start up the business. However, our conviction that mTek is a product that should reach every Kenya who seeks social and financial protection saw us seek investors. We sought investors who shared our vision to touch and change more lives through mTek.”

With this in mind, the company is looking at expanding across the region in the next three years. 

“We would like to impact insurance penetration through our innovative technology which touches on the existing customer pain points of distribution, affordability, right product-market-fit and trust,” Krogmann said. 

mTek, which generates revenues through commissions on sales of insurance premiums channeled through its platform, initially faced challenges in convincing underwriters of the benefits of its platform. Yet over time this has changed. 

“Once they saw the user friendliness of the platform, they quickly agreed to our proposal which also helps them reach more Kenyans,” said Krogmann.

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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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