South African company JaSure sees a gap for on-the-go insurance

Jaclyn Prior

South African company JaSure, started in 2017, has introduced an on-demand insurance product. Co-founder and COO Jaclyn Prior (34) answers our questions.

1. Give us your elevator pitch.

JaSure disrupted the South African insurance industry when it took to market a first of its kind on-demand insurance solution. The JaSure app launched last year with cover for single items, such as bicycles, cameras, laptops and cellphones. Sign up in seconds, and in two minutes, add your first asset for an instant quote. Switch your insurance on and off when you need it, at the tap of a button.

2. How did you finance your startup?

The startup was originally funded by Constantia Insurance Company Limited. In January 2020, JaSure announced an exciting new funding partnership with Santam Limited, the largest short-term insurer in South Africa. Santam is both a strategic investor in JaSure as well as the underwriter of the JaSure insurance policies.

3. If you were given $1 million to invest in your company now, where would it go?

A key benefit of on-demand insurance is the potential to save/reduce premiums. The current reality is an economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic and financial pressure on households for months and possibly years ahead. $1 million would go towards initiatives to create awareness about the cost-savings customers can realise with on-demand insurance and expand JaSure’s on-demand insurance product offering.

4. What risks does your business face?

We face both opportunity and risk as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The extent of the financial downturn and impact on growth is as yet unknown, but sure to be devastating for businesses of all sizes. We need to be agile, now more than ever, continuously assessing the situation and quickly responding to opportunities.

5. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?

Digital marketing has proven to be most successful to date in creating awareness and educating customers about JaSure. Our digital marketing campaigns are deliberately designed to not look like insurance ads. The core message appeals to the lifestyle activities of our customers and the gear (that enables these activities) they want to protect; and we wrap the core message in fresh, eye-catching creative.

6. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.

I received a call from Santam to let us know they are keen to back our business. Most exciting entrepreneurial moment – yes. And a game-changing one. Through this partnership with Santam as investor and underwriter, we are in a position to scale our digital on-demand insurance business in South Africa and beyond borders.

7. Tell us about your biggest mistake, and what you’ve learnt from it?

I’m going to answer this question from a personal perspective. No one can prepare you for the startup experience. Have your wits about you. The highs and lows are extreme because of how much it means to you. When your startup world feels like it’s crashing down, get perspective – learn, and respond, quickly. For the highs: stop and celebrate!

Further reading

[August 2019] Startup snapshot: Nigerian AI-driven platform helps reduce health insurance fraud
[September 2018] Startup snapshot: Opportunity and risk in Africa’s untapped insurance industry
[March 2018] The journey so far: Gustaf Agartson, CEO, BIMA
[August 2018] Making it rain for smallholder farmers: How Thomas Njeru capitalised on a gap in the agricultural insurance market
[May 2017] Pension funds, insurance companies as key drivers of regional integration