Toyota fund to invest in Kenyan insurtech startup AiCare

 Toyota fund to invest in Kenyan insurtech startup AiCare

Toyota Tsusho Corporation and its group company CFAO SAS have decided to invest in AiCare Group, Inc, a one-year-old provider of telematics insurance system for Kenyan insurers.

The investment will be made through convertible notes routed through Mobility 54 Investment SAS, a corporate venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho group which was established in October 2019.

Toyota Tsusho didn’t disclose the amount it is investing in AiCare, which is incorporated in the US but operates in Kenya.

AiCare has developed an in-house technology that uses the automobile driving behaviour data to calculate the driver’s accident risk and quantify a risk score for insurance products.

Insurance companies may use the score provided by AiCare – instead of developing and investing in the technology from scratch – to offer their own telematics insurance products to its customers.

AiCare’s data analysis takes into consideration African road conditions and the way vehicles are driven—such as excluding the detection of vibrations caused by the road surface conditions and sudden steering from the accident risk calculation data. This enables insurance companies with more practical and appropriate accident risk analysis for customers in Africa.

Besides telematics, AiCare uses Big Data and artificial intelligence with machine learning seeking to predict accidents before they happen.

The venture was co-founded by Arthur Mulwa (CEO) and Jaime de Miguel (CTO).

Mulwa is a former Credit Suisse commodity trader and business analyst. He had previously also founded agri-tech venture Armu Logistics.

Under telematics insurance, the insurer gets the driving distance and driving information measured by terminals installed in the car, analyses the driver’s accident risk from the information, and calculates the insurance premium for each driver.

Insurance premium rates are generally determined based on the value of the vehicle with single and flat rates, irrespective of driver’s driving characteristics and behaviour. Telematics can generate differential pricing by rewarding good drivers with lower premiums.

AiCare joins around half a dozen African insurtech stratups to grab funding since January. Half of them are from Kenya, where about 3 million vehicles are insured.

Last month, Nairobi-based insurance-as-a-service platform Lami Technologies raised $1.8 million in seed funding led by Accion Venture Lab’s seed-stage investment initiative.

Others include Botswana’s Alpha Direct, Mali- and Uganda-based OKO, which raised funding in March, and Nairobi-based Pula, which mobilized $6 million in Series A funding.

Another company is Curacel, an artificial intelligence-powered platform for insurance claims processing and fraud management in Africa. It secured $450,000 in pre-seed funding.

Vivek Sinha

The Capital Quest