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Press Release

ETAP secures $1.5 million pre-seed funding to drive car insurance penetration in Africa

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ETAP CEO and Founder,  Ibraheem Babalola

ETAP, an insurtech startup that makes it easier to buy and claim insurance, has secured $1.5 million in pre-seed funding to grow its team and drive the adoption of much-needed car insurance across Africa. Starting in Nigeria, the new funding will support the roll-out of ETAP’s game-changing app. Which allows drivers to buy insurance in 90 seconds, complete claims in 3 minutes or less and get rewarded for good driving and avoiding accidents.

The pre-seed funding round was led by Mobility 54 (the Venture Capital arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group). With participation from Tangerine Insurance, Graph Ventures (invested in Clubhouse), Newmont and other angel investors. Working with a wide range of automotive value chain players, ETAP will also explore other opportunities to deliver much-needed insurance services for car owners in other countries across the continent.

Despite longstanding regulation making car insurance compulsory and more than 100,000 car accidents reported between January 2019 and December 2021, only one in five cars in Nigeria are currently insured. The complexities of buying and claiming insurance has led to widespread apathy for traditional insurance companies and products, with many car owners opting to go without insurance. With ETAP, the entire process of buying and claiming insurance happens exclusively on a smartphone, enabling a seamless and enjoyable insurance experience for users.

ETAP uses machine learning to build intelligent risk profiles that determine appropriate premiums for each driver, allowing them to achieve lower premiums by driving safely. Using advanced telematics, the driving experience is gamified to improve driving behaviour and drivers can earn Safe Driving Points that can be exchanged for shopping vouchers for the most in-demand retail outlets, fuel, cinema and concert tickets, and other exciting experiences.

Drivers also have flexible coverage options, including daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual plans depending on their needs. In the unfortunate event of an accident, they simply need to take a picture of the affected part of the car via the app and the artificial intelligence processes the claim based on previously uploaded images. The app comes with geolocation tags, timestamps and other features to prevent fraudulent claims, as well as crash notification, emergency support and more.

Since launching in beta in November 2021, ETAP has insured more than 130,000 individual trips and over 500,000 kilometres in car journeys. Which represents more than eight times the total distance of paved roads in Nigeria.

According to Ibraheem Babalola, CEO and founder of ETAP, “Just like any other digital service, we believe Nigerians should be able to buy and claim car insurance without having to ‘call a guy’. We also believe that rewarding good drivers can be a catalyst for better driving and making our roads safer. This is why we have created Africa’s most powerful car insurance app and we are excited to have raised these funds to bring more users on board. Too often, the process of buying and claiming insurance in Africa is so out of touch with the everyday reality of most people. But we are changing the game and making the process just as enjoyable as any other experience that consumers access on the mobile phone.”

Yumi Takagi, Project Manager at Mobility 54 said, “ETAP is addressing many challenges that impact the automotive experience in Africa. And we are excited to support and work with them to bring their innovation to more drivers across the continent. We believe that ETAP will engage with this important role and revolutionize the automotive insurance industry with their powerful technology”.

 

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Press Release

Emil Ekiyor Named In “Indiana 250” Most Influential List

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Emil Ekiyor, Founder at InnoPower (Image: Supplied).

IBJ Media has named Emil Ekiyor, one of Africans in the Diaspora leading accomplished community leader and entrepreneur, in the 2024 Indiana 250, the annual list of the 250 most influential leaders in Indiana. The Indiana 250 Most Influential List, now in its third year, recognises the state’s most influential and impactful business and community leaders, representing public and private companies, law firms, universities, not-for-profit, government and community organizations. Mr Ekiyor, is recognised for his accomplishment as a community leader and entrepreneur dedicated to empowering African and African American communities. The list is available at Indiana250.com.  

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Born in Nigeria, Emil embarked on an educational journey to the United States at age 15. He excelled academically and athletically in high school, earning a full scholarship to the University of Central Florida. As a college football team captain, Emil demonstrated stellar leadership and strategic skills. He went on to have a six-year professional football career with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Upon retiring from the NFL, Emil transitioned into entrepreneurship and community leadership roles.

Emil currently serves as CEO of InnoPower Indy Inc., driving innovative community empowerment programs. He has also served as President of the Indianapolis Black Expo Indy chapter and Indy Youth Sports, while serving on nonprofit boards like Friends of Education, Teach for America Indy and the Boys Scouts of America.

With a commitment to advancing black talent and closing wealth gaps, Emil brings collaboration, innovation and courage to his community leadership. He continues to create sustainable change as a beacon of hope for African and African American communities.

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Press Release

The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy to Showcase I-PHILANTHROPY Platform at 2024 IMBW @ RALLY

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Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) Chairperson, Thelma Ekiyor Solanke (Image: Supplied).

The Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO) is set to introduce its groundbreaking I-PHILANTHROPY platform at a high-profile roundtable discussion during the 2024 innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, taking place on August 27-28 in Indianapolis. This landmark event, hosted by NPO Chairperson Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke, will explore innovative solutions for creating access to capital in disenfranchised communities.

I-PHILANTHROPY is a cutting-edge digital solution that leverages technology to support Nigerian small business owners and create unprecedented access to capital for micro-enterprises. The platform’s success in Nigeria offers a promising model for addressing similar challenges faced by underserved communities in the United States.

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“I-PHILANTHROPY represents a paradigm shift in financial inclusion and support for micro-enterprises,” said Honorable Thelma Ekiyor Solanke. “We’re excited to share our experiences at innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY and explore how this model can be adapted to empower disenfranchised communities in the USA.”

The roundtable will discuss:

– I-PHILANTHROPY’s impact on capital access for Nigerian micro-businesses.

– Potential applications of the model in US minority communities.

– Strategies for engaging diaspora and global participants in local economic development.

– Opportunities for international collaboration in supporting grassroots entrepreneurship.

This showcase is a highlight of innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY, a premier event that combines innoPower’s focus on empowering minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovative solutions to global challenges. The conference brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

“The I-PHILANTHROPY platform aligns perfectly with our mission to foster growth and success among minority-owned businesses,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder at innoPower. “This roundtable offers a unique opportunity to learn from international best practices and explore new strategies for addressing capital access challenges in our communities.”

Erica Schweyer, Executioner at RALLY, added, “By bringing together diverse voices from technology, business, and philanthropy, we aim to catalyze transformative ideas that can have real-world impact on disenfranchised communities both in the US and globally.”

 

Sign up for the Roundtable and receive a 88% discount https://innopower.formstack.com/forms/imbwdiscount

 

About Nigeria Office for Philanthropy (NPO):

NPO is at the forefront of leveraging technology for social good in Nigeria. Their I-PHILANTHROPY platform is revolutionizing how global participants can support Nigerian micro-enterprises and contribute to local economic development.

About innoPower Minority Business Week @ RALLY:

This collaborative event combines innoPower’s focus on fostering growth and success among minority-owned businesses with RALLY’s emphasis on innovation and transformative ideas. It brings together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and innovators to share knowledge, build networks, and drive economic empowerment.

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Press Release

Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank to fund underserved MSMEs in Nigeria

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Swedfund invests USD 30 million in Access Bank Nigeria Plc to reach underserved MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) at scale. By providing long-term capital and capacity building to unbanked and under-banked companies in Nigeria, the investment is expected to support sustainable private sector development and inclusive growth.

Nigeria, with a population of 230 million, has an unemployment rate at a staggering 33%. Additionally, over half of the rapidly growing population is below the age of 30, which further exacerbates the need for job creation and workforce development. As Nigeria also copes with a multitude of crises, including insecurity, food shortages and inflation, the resilience and power of MSMEs is critical to driving sustainable development and reducing poverty.

Swedfund’s investment aids in advancing sustainable private sector development, encouraging inclusive growth, and expanding access to finance. Access Bank, known for its strong market presence and with a committed MSME strategy, serves as an effective partner to reach MSMEs in need of financing in Nigeria, says Kitanha Toure, Regional Director of West Africa at Swedfund.

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Access Bank is systemically important and well-positioned to reach a significant number of MSMEs in Nigeria. Swedfund’s investment will contribute to direct and indirect job creation and other tax-generating activities as well as improved access to finance for rural and underserved groups, female- and youth-owned companies.

Access Bank is eligible to meet the 2X Criteria, a global baseline standard for gender finance, and recognised as the best SME bank for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

The loan is part of a syndicate led by the Dutch development finance institution, FMO, with a total value of USD 295 million. The syndicate consists of other Nordic and European development finance institutions such as BII, BIO, Finnfund and Norfund.

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