Curacel evolving from an e-Health startup into insurtech

According to a report by Disrupt AfricaNigerian startup Curacel is helping African insurance companies by supporting rapid claims management and accurate payouts. But it started out in the e-health space.

Formed in 2017 and founded by Henry Mascot, Curacel automates the insurance claims process, allowing staff to process claims volumes quickly and efficiently, and automatically vets claim to detect fraud, waste, and abuse. 

Curacel used to be an electronic health information management system for clinics. They had a web application that helped clinics transform their paper records into digital form, manage their records, appointments, patient communications, billing and reporting with an easy to use dashboard. 

The startup soon realized it was targeting the wrong customers, hence the restructuring to understand how intelligent software can free up huge value to deliver better healthcare systems.

The best thing about Curacel was that it was born from a client request. They are focused on the healthcare insurance market in Nigeria where the startup is based, but they are also just completing a pilot with a multinational insurer in East Africa and transitioning this into a contract that should give the startup a foothold in five countries in East Africa.

The startup, which charges a per claim fee for processing and is moving toward a value-based pricing model for its fraud prevention business, aims to be cash positive on core costs by the middle of this year, but this steady growth has not been without its challenges.

“There’s no such thing as a smooth startup ride, and ours definitely had its ups and downs. I find that with starting up it’s more about getting into the right frame of mind about how you approach challenges or difficulties because they will always keep coming. Many times it will be about your ability to innovate a solution because the challenge will most of the time be new,” said Mascot. 

“Many times your ability to see and innovate that solution, to have that right frame of mind, will be about a battle with yourself, your circumstances, your doubts, and overcoming all of them. Very often this is the root cause of the biggest challenges you’ll find starting up. Then the biggest blessing – and often a challenge to achieve itself – is to share these times with the right team and the right mentorship.”

Curacel has certainly had the latter, and now looks set for pan-African growth.

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