In Nigeria, successful startups keep wowing the global tech ecosystem. Fundraising continues at a breakneck pace. And another should run a lot of ink. Curacel, co-founded by Henry Mascot, is tackling a promising sector: the insurance industry.
Artificial Intelligence is needed in all sectors? How can this new technology offer additional added value?
Henry Mascot: Artificial Intelligence is our core business. And it allows insurers to automate claims in a transparent manner and prevent the waste, fraud and other abuse faced by our partners in Africa, who have saved us over $ 300,000. We optimize the processing of health insurance claims using Artificial Intelligence. Our solution makes it possible to prevent fraud and we authenticate each element constituting the files to avoid errors and facilitate the quality of the support. Previously, the process was long and strewn with pitfalls. But this solution is also to the advantage of insured persons. In the event of damage, the procedures are further simplified and transparent.
In what cases can this innovation really make a difference?
We work with health centers to simplify the procedures for them. They can send several hundred to be transmitted to insurers by hospital on a daily basis. Consequently, the procedures are complicated. With our innovative solution, we allow the processing of a greater number of cases with real cost savings for the insurer. And it avoids wasting time and money. We are also specialized in insurance claims for travel, road accidents. Our technology is also suitable for these two segments.
Your entrepreneurial life is quite rich. Can you describe to us all the stages of this beautiful course?
Basically, I am an engineer specializing in software design. This is my first business in this sector, but I had already started other activities in other sectors. I have made a lot of mobile applications, a coworking space. My businesses were started in Ghana and Nigeria and they are working very well. These entrepreneurial experiences were beneficial to me because I was able to learn a lot of lessons, especially in human resources management.
Managing human resources is a key element of success. What is the strategy you have put in place to achieve a growth-promoting method?
It’s a real struggle. I try to draw people into my vision. And to achieve this, I developed my personal image and that of the company. A new member of our team is an added value which must be complementary to the others. If you are smart, but you are not compatible with others, you will not be able to take them to the top. Each member of our team should be inspired by each other.
The startup universe rhymes with growth, especially during fundraising periods. What is your take on the evolution of your business and the ecosystem?
Our team is made up of 20 employees. Curacel is not just a suitable solution for the Nigerian market. We are working with two other countries, Ghana and Uganda. At the moment, we operate with a B2B-oriented market angle. Our technology should facilitate the work of insurers for better support.
Station F in France has succeeded in attracting your talent. What were you expecting from the incubator of French entrepreneur Xavier Niel?
Talent knows no boundaries. We know that there are good synergies in France and particularly at Station F. Many investors can potentially be interested and this is a country that can serve as a springboard to conquer the Francophonie. And France is a country which has a great culture in the insurance sector with a real world renown. And this is in line with our answer to the previous question. We really want to establish ourselves in other countries around the world including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, the Middle East and Latin America.
The career of every entrepreneur is always a way of the cross. What level would you like to reach by the end of the decade?
Our vision is quite broad because the needs are important. Over the next 10 years, I hope to build a team of 350 employees and a turnover of around 50 million euros with a presence in several countries. Our vision is great and we will continue to work with insurers for their greatest satisfaction as well as that of their clients. We will establish ourselves in this sector because our technology adapts to the reality of emerging countries.