Naspers again bets on online insurance with R120m investment in Naked

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Photo: Getty Images
  • Naspers Foundry said investing in the company meets its strategy of growing tech businesses that address societal needs.
  • Naked was established in 2016 by actuaries who worked in the insurance sector.
  • Naspers recently invested R34 million in digital short-term insurance advice platform, Ctrl. 

A Naspers startup fund has invested R120 million in online insurance company Naked Insurance, its second entry into the insuretech industry in two weeks.

The company, which launched its first insurance product in April 2018, offers artificial intelligence-driven insurance services, including car and home insurance, promising to let users buy insurance in under two minutes. Naspers Foundry said investing in Naked meets its strategy of "growing tech businesses that address societal needs."

"Naked's offering is convenient, transparent and passes the cost savings from its innovative technology on to customers. It improves financial inclusion, in line with Naspers Foundry's objective of investing in technology businesses that have a positive impact on society," said Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers.

She said South Africans were usually underinsured when it came to short-term personal insurance and that there was as "distrust and complexity have led to a misunderstanding of insurance."

The investment is part of Naspers’s R1.4 billion commitment to grow South Africa’s early-stage tech ecosystem through Naspers Foundry.

Naked was established by actuaries Alex Thomson, Sumarie Greybe and Ernest North, who worked in the insurance industry and saw a gap in a tech-led service. The trio received venture capital seed funding in 2016 to start building the company, and in April 2018 launched a car insurance product to the public.

The company in 2019 received awards for best financial solution and overall winner of best app in MTN’s app of the year awards, and credits its early growth to word of mouth.

"We have come a long way since our launch in 2018 towards meeting [our] goals, including enabling customers to buy cover online in seconds, allowing them to claim and manage cover on our award-winning app, and passing on huge savings through sustainably lower premiums," said co-founder Alex Thomson.

Naspers recently invested R34 million in a digital short-term insurance advice platform, Ctrl. 

* Fin24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers.

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