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SA insurtech Pineapple named as finalists of $5m global venture challenge

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Johannesburg-based insurtech startup Pineapple has been named as one of the 10 finalists of VentureClash, a $5-million global venture challenge for early-stage companies.

US based Connecticut Innovations, which manages the competition, announced the 10 finalists in a statement yesterday.

Pineapple is the only African startup among the 10 with the other finalists hailing from Canada, Israel and the US.

The other finalists are Atidot, Cinchy, Covr Financial Technologies, Curatio, Deep IT, EyeControl, MothersChoice, ReferWell and Tremor Technologies.

Pineapple is the only African startup among the 2019 VentureClash finalists

The competition brings together digital health, insurtech, fintech and Internet of Things (IoT) companies from around the world to compete for investment, mentoring, customer introductions and services from Connecticut Innovations to help them grow and succeed in Connecticut in the US.

The 10 finalists will participate in a live pitch event at Yale University on 17 October in front of a panel of judges.

Connecticut Innovations said a panel of judges will determine the distribution of the top investment award of $1.5-million and the remaining $3.5-million on the day of the event.

This year’s VentureClash competition attracted more than 300 companies from 20 countries around the world, all of whom completed initial applications in June.

Finalists were selected following two rounds of judging by an outside panel of industry leaders and subject matter experts.

‘Thrilled to be in finals’

Pineapple was founded in 2017 by Matthew Elan Smith, Ndabenhle Junior Ngulube and Marnus van Heerden.

The peer-t0-peer insurance provider enables individuals to insure their possessions by simply snapping a picture and uploading it to the startup’s mobile app.

Smith (pictured above) said in a statement yesterday that the Pineapple team is “thrilled” to be in the finals of VentureClash.

“It reaffirms to us that the Pineapple solution solves global issues and can stand firm on the global stage,” he added.

In 2018, the Google Launchpad Africa alumnus was accepted into the US-based Hartford InsurTech Hub (see this story).

Before that, Pineapple secured R5.2-million in seed funding from Lireas Holdings, the strategic investment arm of Hannover-Re Group Africa, in 2017 (see this story).

Featured image: Pineapple co-founder Matthew Elan Smith (Supplied)

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