Sehteq raises $20M to expand its scope of health insurance services in UAE

Sehteq, a Dubai-based Health Insurance startup recently secured a $20 million commitment to set up a reinsurance vertical, it announced in a statement to MAGNiTT today. The investment is led by their anchor investor 971 Capital.

Sehteq “ Arabic for your health” is an Oscar-like digital health insurance startup. The company was born at a startup incubator in Ras Al Khaimah in November 2017, and started operations in February 2018 with the acquisition of its first health insurance provider license “ also known as third party administrator TPA”. The startup grew with 12 subsequent acquisitions and heavily invested in a solid technology platform to be the largest provider of low cost health insurance for individuals and companies in UAE. Today, Sehteq is amongst the top three health insurance providers in the UAE and ranks ninth on the global insure-tech list, based on funding.

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Insurance is one of the most regulated industries, and Insuretech companies have to innovate and navigate through this complex system by making necessary investments in licenses and bank guarantees mandated by the Insurance Authority to operate. Unfortunately, many of those startups are licensed as IT providers and this limits what they can offer. The United Arab Emirates is to merge financial sector regulators, and Insurance Authority (IA) and Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) will merge as part of a significant restructuring of government and supervisory authorities in the country the latest regulatory guidelines add pressure on the weak players and bring maturity to the market. There is a limited number of licenses and the last license for TPA was awarded in 2016. New players have to buy one of the legacy businesses. Sehteq acquired 3 of the 21 existing licenses and plan to acquire 2 more before the end of the year to reach its one million consumers target. Post Covid, 3 players exited the market already. 

971 Capital's Senior Partner Saad AlJaibeji, commenting on the investment, said, "This investment will upgrade Sehteq in conjunction with its technology and reinsurance verticals to a new and innovative version of Munch Re – MedNet or Alliance – Nextcare " $10 million is the minimum capital required to start a reinsurance business and the higher the initial investment goes – the more capacity the startup will have to do business. 

Apart from the formation of the reinsurance company, Sehteq will have an additional investment of $3 million to support the technology arm of Sehteq by procuring complementary solutions to enhance the existing artificial intelligence-based system of the company. Presently, Sehteq automates more than 90% of their back-office work which minimizes the inconvenience caused to its customers and improves the overall efficiency. This additional $3 million will support Sehteq’s plans to acquire and build consumer centric applications to enhance it’s 650,000 users’ experience. Sehteq Portals, the technology arm, transitioned from a cost center to a standalone vertical and licensed its AI based sales technology to more than 100 partners.

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The ongoing crisis has placed the Healthcare sector under a microscope unlike ever before. Learn all about the industry’s funding and investment trends in our 2019 MENA Healthcare Venture Investment Report