On the heels of Lemonade raising $120 million from Softbank for its new “peer-to-peer” spin on insurance services, another company aimed at disrupting the insurance market is announcing a major round of its own. Bima, a European startup that builds and sells “microinsurance” services for low-income consumers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, has raised $96.6 million in a strategic investment from Allianz X, the digital investment unit of the insurance giant.
The new funding will be used to expand Bima’s existing products — primarily life, accident and health insurance, as well as a teledoctor service — across the 14 markets where it already operates, as well as move into new countries. Currently, Bima’s biggest markets currently are Ghana, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and it has 24 million customers in total globally.
The funding — $30 million of which is in equity, and the remainder as secondary transaction to buy out shares primarily from LeapFrog, another investor — was made at a pre-money valuation of around $260 million and gives Bima a post-money valuation of around $300 million, deputy CEO Mathilda Strom said in an interview. Bima, which has headquarters in London and Stockholm, has raised over $150 million in funding to date, according to CrunchBase.
Similar to financial services, the insurance industry has been eyeing up developing markets as its next big growth area at a time when more developed economies are oversaturated competition and existing services.
On one hand, it’s a large opportunity: Swiss Re estimates that the microinsurance market is currently worth…