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Gro Intelligence: Startup Founded by Sara Menker Secures $85M in Series B Investment

gro intelligence

Gro Intelligence, founded in Nairobi, with offices in both Nairobi (Kenya) and New York (USA) announces that it has received an US$ 85 million in series B funding from Intel Capital and Africa Internet Ventures.

The Africa Internet Ventures as we understand, is a strategic partnership between TPG Growth and EchoVC. The other participating funding houses into Gro Intelligence’s latest round of investment include the family offices of Eric Zinterhofer and Ronald Lauder.

Investments also came DCVC and GGV Capital who were previous investors of Gro Intelligence. The series B funding also attracted new VC players, namely Dick Parsons, Rethink Food and the Schusterman Family Investments, among other various strategic family offices.

Gro Intelligence we know is an AI (artificial intelligence)-powered insights company that provides decision-making tools, solutions and analytics to the food, agriculture and climate economies and their participants. The company at the moment incorporates over 40,000 data sets and processes north of 650 trillion data points.

Their customer base include governments, financial institutions, agricultural input companies, retailers, food and beverage firm and others.

gro intelligence
Image credit: Grow Intelligence facebook

The Ethiopian born and elated founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, Sara Menker, explains that, food security and climate risk represented an existential global-sized opportunities for the company’s AI-powered decisions and insights platform. And by this, they see a tremendous need for the market knowledge provided by the Gro Platform.

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She further states,

“Our customers have come to rely on Gro as a unique source of actionable data-driven insights about our food supply and models to measure and manage associated climate change risk to physical and financial assets across the globe. We are absolutely delighted to welcome our new investors and continue to be grateful to our existing investors for their support.”

What the latest round of funding will be used for?

The report suggests that, the investment will be used to accelerate the growth and global adoption of the Gro Intelligence’s platform, which will be raising their machine-learning capabilities and delivering localized insights on climate risk, agriculture and food.

According to Trina Van Pelt, the Senior Managing Director of Intel Capital,

“Gro Intelligence is one of the most exciting AI companies and is tackling two of the world’s biggest challenges: food security and climate risk. Their software-based platform will drive compute-powered cross-border knowledge to surface meaningful insights and enable better informed agricultural decisions.”

Further adding that, Intel Capital is really excited to co-lead the investment round because Gro Intelligence’s technology aligned with their stated mission of unleashing the power of data for improving our society.

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Gro Intelligence, for Yemi Lalude, the Managing Partner of TPG Growth Africa, has had a remarkable journey so far and demonstrated the growing importance of AI in driving a more sustainable food supply in the world. Proudly commenting that, their oufit was proud to have supported the company from its beginnings in Nairobi to the forefront of today’s efforts to make companies and institutions across multiple industries around the world more resilient to climate change and climate risk.

As fate may have it, both Intel Capital and TGP Growth led Gro Intelligence’s series A round funding in 2017.

“With its AI-powered platform, Gro Intelligence is solving, at scale, two of the world’s most pressing problems – climate risk and food security,” said Julia Paliare, Managing Director at the Family Office of Ronald Lauder.

She went to extol Sara’s vision, leadership and experience, along with the remarkable technology and team she has assembled. For her, Gro’s founder has positioned the company for accelerated growth at a time when these issues are of utmost importance to the world.

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Curacel: Insurtech Startup Secures $450K Pre-seed Funding Led by Atlantica Ventures & Consonance


The insurtech startup, Curacel, an AI-powered platform for claims processing and fraud management in Africa, reports that it has raised $450,000 pre-seed funding in a round that was led by Atlantica Ventures and Consonance with participation from Kepple Ventures and other African angel investors.

The new investment will be used to accelerate Curacel’s expansion across Africa and facilitate the goal of becoming Africa’s premier provider of embedded finance technology for insurance.

The insurtech startup already works with some of the biggest insurers on the continent, including AXA Mansard, Liberty Health and Old Mutual, as well as more than 800 hospitals in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. It plans to expand into 10 new African countries by the end of 2021.

Every year, African insurers lose more than $12 billion to fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive claims. Curacel’s flagship CLAIMS platform acts as a bridge between primary care hospitals and Africa’s insurance companies, using advanced artificial intelligence to ensure that insurance companies only pay claims for the correct treatment, appropriate medications and recommended patient therapies. 


Curacel is also scheduled to launch Curacel Capital, a cash advance product that makes it easier for healthcare providers to access working capital to mitigate financial challenges. Delayed payments and other inefficiencies in the payment process means many African healthcare providers often have to make the difficult choice between keeping the books balanced or providing healthcare at a loss. With Curacel Capital, healthcare providers can access lump sums of up to three times their average monthly billings, based on claims processed on the Curacel portal, ensuring that they can continue to deliver essential services without undue disruption.

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With insurance penetration at just 2.8% across the continent, many Africans are one accident or health emergency away from poverty. And in Africa’s communal societies, tragedy impacts entire communities, with people emptying their savings to pay for medical expenses, burials or other disaster relief for family members and kin. By leveraging Curacel’s products and services, insurers across the continent are better equipped to close the insurance gap and safeguard prosperity. 

According to Curacel Co-founder and CEO, Henry Mascot, in a press statement said,

“We are excited to have these investors on board and we are looking forward to partnering with them to drive our vision of improving insurance inclusion across Africa.”

At Curacel he shares, they are uniquely positioned to safeguard livelihoods and increase the quality of life through their unique, market-leading products and services. 

IK Kanu, Partner at Atlantica Ventures noted that,

“The African insurance market represents a significant growth opportunity and we are delighted to be partnering with Curacel to drive growth in this sector. There is an opportunity to create an entirely new market of products and services here and we look forward to supporting the team to improve health outcomes across the continent.” 

Finally, Mobolaji Adeoye, the Managing Partner at Consonance adds that they believe the Curacel team has what it takes to be market leaders and are therefore excited to support them. Also stressing that they have a great product and equally delighted to be coming onboard at this early stage of their growth.

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