Financial services company Allianz has entered a cooperation partnership with the Israeli InsurTech start-up OKO, which is currently housed at the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT).
The partnership aims at bringing crop insurance in an innovative and efficient way to smallholder farmers in Africa. Allianz and OKO will design index- insurance products that automatically compensate farmers when they are facing adverse weather.
In this partnership, OKO will bring its data-science expertise and its mobile distribution technology, while Allianz will assist in underwriting and re-insuring the crop insurance products.
This is a second step in a collaboration that started with a pilot programme in Mali where OKO demonstrated its ability to bring insurance to un-banked populations using mobile phones. Regardless of their device, Malian farmers have been able to access insurance, pay using Mobile Money and receive claim payment on their phone, all thanks to OKO.
Neeraj Maheshwari, Head of Micro-insurance at Allianz Africa, commented: “Allianz is constantly looking for propositions specially designed to improve the lives of people in our emerging consumers segment. We believe that OKO has the potential to increase insurance penetration in rural areas, which are traditionally under-served and thereby unlock an enormous market”.
“For OKO it is a massive step forward to partner with such a large and innovative company. We will now be able to enter new markets and work towards our goal of making African farmers more resilient to climate risks”, added Simon Schwall, CEO of OKO.
Established in 2018, OKO uses satellite data and partnership with mobile operators to secure the income of farmers through automated insurance products. The company is supported by the European Commission and has been recognised by Orange as the most promising start-up in Africa, having won the Orange Social Venture Prize 2018. OKO was also recently awarded runner-up of the Fintech Awards 2019 jointly organised by KPMG Luxembourg and the LHoFT where OKO is based.