Abu Dhabi-based insurance technology start-up Hala raised $5 million in a funding round led by Entree Capital, with participation from Mubadala Investment Company, EQ2 Ventures, Global Founders Capital, 500 Startups and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund.
The company will use the funds to include new products such as home insurance and to expand within the Middle East, starting with Saudi Arabia, it said on Sunday.
“We believe people would love insurance if insurance loved them back," said Walid Dib, chief executive and co-founder of Hala.
"The region’s insurers have focused too hard on selling a product before understanding the customer's knowledge and preferences. Hala aims to bridge the gap between insurance misconceptions and peoples’ needs."
Current consumer adoption of InsurTech in the Mena region stands at 8 per cent. However, planned use of its services in the future stands at 48 per cent, according to data by India-based research company Redseer.
Hala was launched in 2018 by brothers Walid and Karim Dib to streamline payments between motor insurance companies in the UAE using blockchain technology.
In 2020, the company expanded into retail insurance and offered products directly to customers, with the aim of “revolutionising and disrupting" the InsurTech industry by making insurance more accessible.
Hala said it recorded "strong growth" in 2021, thanks to transparent and fair pricing, and an easy-to-use product, without revealing financial details.
"The size of the [insurance] market across the region has huge potential and Hala is proving to be very capable at using technology and data to provide a product offering, which appeals to a large customer base," said Ali Qaiser, general partner of Oryx Fund.
The Oryx Fund is a $50m venture fund unveiled in February 2021 by Hambro Perks.
The fund backs early stage start-ups across the Mena region, with a particular focus on FinTech, health technology and education technology. The Oryx Fund is domiciled within the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
Hambro Perks, which has its headquarters in London and bases within Hub71 in Abu Dhabi and in Riyadh, also invests in early stage companies.