Nigerian VC Firm Participates In $6M Investment Round For New York-Based Insurtech Company

Nigerian VC Firm Participates In $6M Investment Round For New York-Based Insurtech Company

A Nigerian venture capital firm has joined Silicon Valley Incubator Y Combinator in funding an Africa-focused climate insurance tech startup as part of a $6 million investment round.

Nigerian venture capital firm EchoVC expanded its portfolio by investing in New York-based climate insurance provider WorldCover, according to an EchoVC statement.

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The investment, which included participation from California-based Western Technology Investment, is expected to allow the company to offer its insurance products to more emerging market smallholder farmers.

WorldCover’s platform uses a combination of satellite imagery, on-ground sensors, mobile phones and data analytics to create insurance products for smallholder farmers whose crop yields are negatively affected by weather conditions such as insufficient rainfall.

EchoVC was established in 2011 by founder and managing general partner Eghosa Omoigui, who previously spent nearly a decade at U.S. tech firm Intel in various roles including as capital director, strategic investments, consumer internet & semantic technologies.

The Lagos-based investor aims to invest in companies involved in consumer, media, data and devices tech in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and North America.

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The investor has previously backed companies including LifeBank,Hotels.ng, Cellulant, Printivo and Kukua, Technext reports.

Until 2018 the firm invested in Nigerian companies or those with operations in the country, but that changed following a $2.5 investment in Kenyan edtech startup Kukua.

Nigerian VC firm investing outside of the country

The WorldCover deal illustrates the investor’s ability to work with international VC firms and a willingness to invest in companies not operating in Nigeria.

Corporate venture capital firms MS&AD Ventures and Western Technology are both California-based. MS&AD led the round.

U.S. tech incubator Y Combinator, perhaps the world’s most powerful startup accelerator program, also participated in the round.

Nigerian VC firm
WorldCover provides insurance products for smallholder farmers in emerging markets. Photo by Mark Kucharski on Unsplash

WorldCover currently operates in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya, and this funding round will allow it to expand to other global emerging markets including Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and India, according to TechCrunch.

The company has provided more than 30,000 African farmers with insurance products.

Crops typically farmed by WorldCover clients include maize, rice, and peanuts. The company expects to add coffee, cocoa and cashews to its coverage list in the future, Weetracker reports.