Allianz invests in emerging market microinsurer

Allianz X, the digital investment unit of Germany’s Allianz Group, announced a $96.6 million investment in BIMA, a digital microinsurer that uses mobile technology to serve low-income customers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Allianz said it becomes BIMA’s sole insurance shareholder and its largest strategic shareholder overall.

“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’,” said Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz SE.

Allianz said BIMA’s proprietary technology delivers affordable insurance and health products to emerging markets customers who need them but cannot access them through traditional channels.

BIMA’s business combines mobile technology, partnerships with mobile operators and a dedicated 3,500-person salesforce to achieve scale and profitability.

“The strategic investment in BIMA contributes to the digital transformation of the Allianz Group and our commitment to emerging markets,” said Nazim Cetin, CEO of Allianz X.

“I am thrilled to work with colleagues who have such entrepreneurial spirit and look forward to our collaboration.”

Coenraad Vrolijk, Regional CEO of Allianz Africa, said: “Allianz’s participation in BIMA provides an ability for us to deepen our emerging markets footprint and use the latest technologies to distribute insurance products to customers who need it most.”

Since launching in 2010, BIMA has developed in 14 countries on three continents and has 24 million registered customers.

Allianz said its investment will allow the company to continue its rapid growth trajectory by harnessing soaring mobile penetration in emerging markets and deliver against an ambition to reach 1 billion consumers.

BIMA founder and CEO Gustaf Agartson said: “We are very excited to have Allianz as a shareholder.

“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.

“Allianz’s significant expertise and knowledge in the insurance space will enable BIMA to further improve our product portfolio and provide valuable products to the emerging market consumers.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.