This Swedish Startup Brings Insurance to 24 Million People in the Developing World Through Their Mobiles
Mobile insurance startup BIMA has signed up 24 million customers across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, according to its deputy CEO.
BIMA offers what’s called “microinsurance” — people can get accident or life insurance for as little as 60¢ a day on rolling monthly cover. The product offers people payouts of up to $1,000 for their family if they die, for example, and takes just 3 minutes to sign up for.
BIMA collects payments through people’s mobiles and does deals with mobile phone operators in each country it enters to make sure it can collect.
Deputy CEO Mathilda Strom says BIMA’s great breakthrough was taking advantage of the huge mobile penetration in emerging markets. 93% of the company’s customers earn less than $10 a day, Strom says, while 54% are on less than $2.50 per day. But these people frequently top up their mobile phones to make calls, often paying in as little as 50¢. It is this constant, small trickle of revenue that BIMA taps into.