Two weeks ago a Kenyan fintech provider PULA was among 20 finalists pitching at the Singapore Fintech Festival. The presentation by the CTO Sitati Kituyi was selected among the winners, enabling the company to walk away with a cash prize of USD 50,000, getting an exclusive opportunity for networking with investors and a fast-tracked application for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof-of-Concept Scheme.
Pula ‘restructures agricultural insurance and seeks to use technology to insure the previously unbanked, uninsured and untapped market of smallhodlers across the globe. It facilitates crop and livestock insurance coverage and works with Fortune 500 companies, global NGOs, research institutions, and governments to help provide smallholders the protection they need in an increasingly unpredictable market.’
The finalists who eventually pitched for the Global Fintech Hackcelerator were selected through two parallel scouting programmes. The local programme which aimed to tackle problem statements originating from the financial industry in Singapore and the broader Asia region saw 10 winners shortlisted from among 200 submissions by companies across 30 countries. The international programme in which Pula falls comprised 10 winners from five countries in which two winners were selected per country out of 400 participants. The countries that took part in the fintech competition submission were Abu Dhabi, South Africa, Kenya, United Kingdom and the United States
Participants were expected to address 70 problem statements narrowed down to three focus areas namely financial inclusion, insurance, banking and finance, and general category.
All the 20 finalists will receive USD 20,000 in cash prize as well as benefit from the fast tracked FSTI scheme and networking session with investors.
“The international programme has allowed us to reach out to the international fintech community and bring fresh ideas into the Global Fintech Hackcelerator programme. We found FinTech players with innovative solutions to address pressing issues, such as around financial inclusion, to help developing countries facing similar issues in South-East Asia region,” said Mr Chia Tek Yiew, Head of Financial Services Advisory at KPMG Singapore.
Just a week earlier, Pula had been named the winner of the Women’s World Banking Fintech Innovation Challenge for the effort to level the gender gap in access to agricultural insurance, as well as a first prize conquest at the Insurance 3.0 Conference about 14 days earlier on. It has been a quarter of wins for the insurance solutions provider. The company serves 611,000 farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Malawi