Skip to main content

Oko's mobile-centric micro insurance protecting small farmers in developing countries from climate risks

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - InsurFarm (Oko's mobile-centric micro insurance protecting small farmers in developing countries from climate risks)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2019-07-31

Agriculture represents 1 in 3 of all workers. Yet, most farmers cannot get insured and have no access to loan due to their high-risk profiles. Crop insurance has not been adapted to developing countries, where farms are small, un-connected and unbanked. Insurance companies are looking for cost-effective and digital solutions.
Oko’s InsurFarm uses satellite data to identify areas affected by adverse weather, and automatically compensate farmers. It is accessible via universal mobile phone technologies.

Insurance is key to make farmers resilient to climate risks, as well as granting them access to financial tools. At a country level, the lack of financial safety nets is a threat to long-term rural development.

Oko’s objective in this project is to perform a feasibility study to understand how to successfully launch across Africa and beyond. Our overall objective is to build a scalable and ubiquitous solution.
1: Market Analysis:
We analysed in-depth several markets, looking at market size, growth potential, competition, potential customer base, crops (value & quantity), risks, etc. and prioritised our roadmap.

2: Stakeholders engagement:
We showcased our platform to insurers and mobile operators in 6 countries. We signed NDAs and MoUs with several insurance companies, mobile operators and agri-businesses.

3: Technological study
We understood that beyond the risk of drought, it was important to develop a more extensive suite of insurance products. We developed new algorithms to make this possible.

4: Economic feasibility analysis:
We created a multi-country business case, adjusting costs and potential revenues to local market parameters. We incorporated feedback from our pilots to our distribution strategy.

5: Business model validation:
We validated key hypothesis for our business model, including our cost of customer acquisition and our conversion ratio. Identifying some weaknesses in the model, we also designed a B2B approach.

6: IPR protection plan:
We understood that in its current state of our platform isn’t easily patentable, but that other mechanisms could be used to secure our competitive advantage.
OKO insured a few hundreds of farmers against weather risks in Mali. We already paid claims to farmers, proving that the model works.
We validated a model that had never before been tested in the region and signed key partnership agreements with large players.
We improved awareness about crop insurance in many markets through our communication efforts.
OKO's CEO presenting the InsurFarm solution on stage
OKO agents in front of a rural OKO office
Insurance beneficiary in Mali receiving claim payment on mobile