Naspers makes R34m investment in a digital short-term insurance startup

A Naspers startup fund has added Ctrl, a digital short-term insurance advice platform, to its stable.

A Naspers startup fund has added Ctrl, a digital short-term insurance advice platform, to its stable.

  • Naspers says Ctrl is a great example of using technology can improve traditional business models.
  • Ctrl is a one-stop digital short-term insurance advice platform founded in 2017.
  • The investment is part of Naspers’ R1.4 billion commitment to grow early-stage tech companies.

A Naspers startup fund has added Ctrl, a digital short-term insurance advice platform, to its stable in a R34 million transaction that is a nod to the local insurtech sector.

The entity, founded in 2017, allows users to compare insurance quotes, get advice and manage their policy in one app.

“The investment is part of Naspers’ R1.4 billion commitment to grow early-stage tech companies through its tech investment vehicle, Naspers Foundry,” the company said.

The transaction brings the total investments in the Naspers Foundry portfolio to six tech companies. Ctrl was founded in 2017 by Pieter Erasmus, Pieter Venter and Francois Venter and prides itself as the first digital short-term insurance advisor, which also has services to the deaf and hard of hearing communities who did not have regular access to traditional brokers.

In November 2020, Naspers Foundry invested R45 million in online learning platform, The Student Hub, which bridges the gap of limited physical infrastructure and related resources by partnering with government-accredited Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges to help them deliver their courses online.

In 2019, Naspers Foundry invested R30 million in SweepSouth, an online home- and business-cleaning services platform that connects clients with domestic cleaners. The service was established in 2014 by Alen Ribic and Aisha Pandor and has grown into a national service.

Speaking on their recent investment, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO of Naspers SA, said Ctrl reflects the importance of the work Naspers Foundry was doing in the country, which is focused on partnering with tech-led companies aimed at making everyday life easier.

“Ctrl is a great example of how innovations in technology can improve on traditional business models that we use in our everyday lives.”

In 2019, Naspers launched Naspers Labs, a development programme that provides young people with the training and skills to pursue tech careers.

“We are ecstatic about Naspers Foundry’s investment given their vast experience in growing tech startups. We believe that we are now in the best position to grow our business, and we are excited about Ctrl’s future as we transform the insurance industry,” said Pieter Venter, CEO and co-founder of Ctrl.

Companies under the Naspers stable include Takealot, Mr D Food, Superbalist, OLX, Autotrader, Property24, PayU and Media24.

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