Founded by Shady El Tohfa, Omar Ezz El Din and Adham Nauman in 2020, Amenli addresses a $2 billion untapped insurance market in Egypt. But it was a series of personal experiences that prompted CEO El Tohfa to look into the opportunities in the market.
Recently, some startups such as Lami, Ctrl and Naked have sought to take on each regional market by storm, armed with the necessary capital to scale. Y Combinator Summer 2021 graduate Amenli is taking its operations up north and is announcing a $2.3 million seed round to provide insurance services for Egyptians.
A couple of local and foreign firms invested in the round — co-lead investors P1 Ventures, GFC, and Anim Fund (Founders Fund scout fund), with Costanoa VC, Liquid2 Ventures, Cliff Angels and other angel investors participating.
El Tohfa recounts two stories where his friends lost their fathers. While the said loss negatively affected the welfare of his first friend and that of his family because of unpaid medical bills, it was different for the other friend who claimed that having insurance helped his family escape financial difficulties despite his father’s expensive treatments.
Those two accounts, alongside Nauman’s newfound knowledge that an average Egyptian could have insurance without being an employee and the Egyptian pounds’ devaluation in 2016, shaped how the founders understood the importance of insurance in Egypt.
The platform issues more than 500 policies in less than 10 mins compared to the minimum of three-week industry standard. The numbers look impressive; however, the founders still think the company is still on the path to finding product-market fit.
“Right now, we are still trying to prove that there is demand in the market for selling insurance because there was no benchmark and we did not know if people would receive the insurance online,” he said. “Everyone would say that in Egypt, people do not want to understand or buy insurance. But what we found is that educated people in the middle-income segment are aware of insurance, understand it and want to buy it, even though it wasn’t accessible to them before.”