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South Africa’s insurtech startup Pineapple has been accepted into a US Accelerator

by Milicent Atieno

Pineapple, a South African startup that successfully entered a round of funding in 2018 and took part in Google’s Launchpad Africa accelerator has been enrolled in the Connecticut-based Hartford Insurtech Hub. A hub backed by the Startupbootcamp, which seeks out insurtech startups from across the world and pairs them with insurance companies across the U.S.

Pineapple provides insurance cover through an ingenious means. Clients simply take a snap of what they wish to ensure, and from there they have an insurance cover. A first of its kind in the insurance world and that is why it popped up Hartford Insurtech Hub radar.

The startup is one in a team of 10 startups enrolled from across the world to the Connecticut-based accelerator. The acceleration program runs for three months and is reported to have received at least 230 applications.

The acceleration program kicks off in February this year, and the participating startups stand a chance of getting resources and support to help them scale. They will also be able to network with a boatload of investors and industry stakeholders in the U.S.

Getting into the Hartford Insurtech Hub is going to be a big catalyst to us launching Pineapple in the U.S., said Mattew Elan Smit, a co-founder of Pineapple. “It gives us access to a huge network of mentors and professionals in the industry there as well as engagement with US carriers to partner up with. We are super excited for the opportunity because being able to take a proudly South Africa-built product into the US market will be a massive achievement.”

His fellow co-founder, Marnus van Heerden further said that the Hartford Insurtech Hub ecosystem was “amazing” to say the least. It a step towards a public-private partnership that will see the industry grow further.

The mayor of Hartford was there, their head of regulation was there, they even have a state-run venture capital arm. To back this up they invited all the major insurance companies, VCs and experts from across the board ranging from IP lawyers to design experts,” said Marnus.

As a state, Connecticut has been positioning itself as a world leader in the insurtech space, just as the Silicon Valley is pioneering the global venture capital space. The state is uniquely positioned to pursue this front given its proximity to both New York and Boston from which the insuretech startups get a wide market for their services, without paying the premium prices it takes to live in those two cities.

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