Health insurance is not common for many West Africans but a Y Combinator-backed Nigerian fintech firm hopes to change that.
The affordability of the product means that millions of West Africans in Nigeria and Ghana could have access to health insurance that was previously not an option due to geographical or regulatory inaccessibility.
In some cases, Nigerians could not access health insurance because it did not exist where they lived.
Another issue that prevented traditional financial institutions from providing health insurance was the reality that offering such services to individuals would not meet the institutions’ minimum profitable threshold.
That means AellaCare has a huge market to tap.
AellaCare was born out of a partnership between Aella Credit and Hygeia HMO, a health insurance provider in West Africa.
The health insurance product gives consumers access to health services including consultations with doctors, pharmacy benefits, ante-natal care, emergency care, dental care, and family planning services, VenturesAfrica reports.
Founded in 2015 by Akinola Jones and Akabi Wale, Aella Credit offers financial products — savings, insurance, and loans — to low-income households and early-stage businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, and the Philippines via a mobile app.
Jones graduated with a degree in international business and finance from Howard University and has held investment banking roles at U.S. firms including BGL Investment Bank and Atlanta-based SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, as well as Switzerland-based UBS.
Aella Credit chief technology officer Akanbi earned a degree in computer science from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Oyo State, Nigeria before working as chief technology officer at Lagos-based game production company Gamsole.
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Aella has raised $12 million to date including $2 million in 2017 when the micro-lender took part in the Y Combinator program in Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator is perhaps the world’s most powerful startup accelerator program.