- Allianz’s digital investment unit invests $96.6 million into BIMA.
- Seven-year-old business lets people in emerging markets buy insurance through their mobile phones.
LONDON – German insurance giant Allianz has invested close to $100 million (£74.7 million) in BIMA, a Swedish-British startup that helps people in developing economies buy affordable insurance through their mobile phones.
Allianz X, the digital investment unit of the Allianz Group, has invested $96.6 million (£72.2 million) into 7-year-old BIMA, which has head offices in both London and Stockholm.
BIMA offers what’s called “microinsurance” – people can get accident or life insurance for as little as 60¢ a month on rolling monthly cover. The product offers people payouts of up to $1,000 for their family if they die, for example, and takes just three minutes to sign up for.
The company has over 3,500 salespeople across the developing world and BIMA has signed up 24 million customers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
BIMA collects payments through people’s mobiles and does deals with mobile phone operators in each country it enters to make sure it can collect. (You can read BI’s interview with BIMA’s deputy CEO from October last year.)
Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz SE, said: “Our investment in BIMA underscores Allianz’s commitment to digitalization, supporting the growth strategy of the Group in emerging economies, as well as enabling us to serve the so-called ‘next billion customers.'”
BIMA’s founder and CEO Gustaf Agartson said in a statement: “Allianz is the perfect insurance partner and investor for BIMA because of their strong commitment to emerging markets and overlapping footprint.
“This investment will allow us to continue our journey to innovate, scale existing as well as new markets, and retain our place as the emerging market InsurTech leader.”
LeapFrog, a private equity company that specialises in financial services and healthcare in emerging markets, is selling its stake in BIMA as part of the deal.
Dr. Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of LeapFrog Investments, said in an email: “We exist to back companies like BIMA, fueling an economic transformation in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”