At Pula, we are radically restructuring agricultural insurance, using technology to insure the previously unbanked, uninsured, untapped market of 1.5 billion smallholders worldwide.
We work in over 17 countries across Africa and Asia, and by 2021, we have facilitated crop insurance cover to over 5.3 million farmers across Kenya, India, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Zambia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Malawi. Since raising our Series A our operations have expanded globally including now Asia and Latin America.
Pula is a fast-paced space, constantly adapting to new opportunities and challenges and we are made up of a high-performance, multi-cultural team. We expect our team to value performance, results and professionalism.
At Pula, our values are:
- Obsessed with results: We are responsible for our future and therefore we get things done!
- Connect the Dots: We continuously identify different customer needs & business problems and build solutions that deliver value.
- Have a Can do Attitude! We dare to do things differently to make things work.
- We have each others’ back: We look out for each other & we share high quality, timely feedback that makes us better.
According to the UN’s Inter Governmental Panel for Climate Change more than 3.3 billion people globally live in hotspots with high vulnerability to climate change and are now already feeling the impact of climate change through increased temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall.
Insurance is a tool for vulnerable households in these affected regions to adapt to the effects that climate change is already having today on these households. It is a tool that enables for compensation payment for losses and damages that these households had no part in causing. Insurance compensation enables these households to make adjustments to their day to day livelihoods and practices and therefore allows for an equitable and just transition.
At Pula, we are building the systems that enable farmers worldwide to access insurance, using technology to insure this previously uninsured worldwide. We work in over 17 countries across Africa and Asia, and by 2021, have facilitated crop insurance cover to over 6 million farmers, 30% of which are women, across Kenya, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Zambia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi. We are a for profit, and have raised over $10 million from leading venture and institutional investors as well as developed philanthropic relationships with private foundations and bilateral donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and German Insure Resilience Solutions Fund that have accelerated investments in our target markets.
Pula is proudly break-neck paced, constantly learning from the challenges we face and overcome. We are proudly culturally diverse but united in our ambition of continuous high-performance. By challenging ourselves we believe that we can overcome the hard problems we love solving.
At Pula, our culture is defined by our:
- Obsession with results: We are responsible for our future and therefore we get things done!
- Ability to connect the Dots: We continuously identify different customer needs & business problems and build solutions that deliver value.
- Our Can do Attitude! We dare to do things differently to make things work.
- Ability to have each others’ back: We look out for each other & we share high quality, timely feedback that makes us better.
What you'll be doing:
Pula is seeking an experienced Institutional Partnerships Director to join the partnerships team and build partnerships with philanthropic funders and development agencies. She/he must have a love for building partnerships across commercial and public sector, profits and non-profits, identifying potential partners that align strategically to the business needs, tailoring our value proposition to each partner, pitching to each and where successful, guiding follow on contracting and fundraising processes.
The Director is expected to: i) build new, and execute on existing fundraising networks and ii) contribute to shaping our narrative around risk financing and insurance iii) work with our partnerships team to close on proposals and tenders. Tasks will range from liaising with development agency partners and philanthropic clients on funding risk finance mechanisms and insurance premiums to working with the partnerships team to close on identified contracts.
The Director will report to the President/ Co-founder, and help to build Pula’s emerging climate finance strategy. They will be comfortable working on a fundraising quota and targets for a total value of 20mln over the next 2 years. If successful, you will manage one or more professionals over time.
Your network should be strong in the Development, both in the Private Foundation and Institutional Development partner space. The ideal candidate would also have experience in the areas of Climate Finance, ie. in the areas of carbon credit, and have successfully interacted with institutions such as the Adaptation and Green Climate Fund or similar UN Agencies.
What you need to have to be successful
The hard skills:
- You can demonstrate partnerships and awards generated from development agencies and institutional donors for a value of at least $1million over the course of your career.
- You have experience working with Development Agencies at all levels and navigating institutional structures both in private foundations and either bilateral or multilateral agencies.
- Partnerships, Business Development or Consulting experience in the area of Climate and Disaster Risk Finance, Food Security, Financial Inclusion or related is a significant advantage.
- Networks, Experience and knowledge in the Climate Finance and Carbon Credit Industry will place you at an advantage.
- You are fully comfortable with Google Drive applications such as Google Sheets, Google Docs etc.
The soft skills:
We value soft skills as much, or often even more as the above mentioned hard skills. The right profile fit for the role is therefore described below, with weights indicating relative importance.
Can build relationships with stakeholders rapidly and can expand into new networks quickly. Having deep rooted existing networks and relationships is a plus. Passionate about building and maintaining relationships.
Resilient & Intense: 20%
Can navigate deal complexity and will not give up until the deal is signed. Tenacious. A self starter. Recovers quickly from tough situations. Eager to build new partnerships, has a point to prove and looks to prove that point at Pula. Builds their profile and therefore reputation around Pula and the Pula products. They do not want to fail and therefore will do what it takes for Pula to succeed.
Adaptable: Is eager to learn and grow in their skills and ability. Is resourceful to close any skills and knowledge gap. Openly receives and shares feedback. A consummate learner.
Gravitas yet Street Smart 20%
Charming. Has a confident, comfortable presence. Can sit across from the UN Secretary General, Bill Gates or the Minister of Agriculture of Kenya and hold their own and pitch without assistance. Can understand and map the stakeholders in a new partnership, identify and test champions, structure the partnership, problem solve and find another way when a proposed partnership gets stuck.
Can confidently convert information internally and externally adjusting quickly between written and verbal communication as situations call for it. Follows through on action points from conversations and can succinctly summarize the progress required to progress a partnership.
What Pula will bring to the table
- Growth potential: With an untapped market of 1.5 billion smallholders worldwide, on track to doubling the number of farmers insured in 2021 and Pula’s global leadership in Agriculture Insurance, the Commercial Director has a tremendous upside growth potential.
- Market Leader: Not only is the opportunity massive, but Pula is by far the market leader in it’s category with 5.3m farmers insured as at the end of 2021.
- Solid: Pula has been funded by leading venture capital investors (Omidyar Network, ACCION, MercyCorps) and global philanthropic institutions (MasterCard Foundation, CGAP/World Bank as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Pula closed a $6m series A funding in December 2020 in the right in middle of the pandemic a clear testimony of the opportunity that Pula is going after.
- Respected: Winner of the Singapore FinTech Festival 2019, Winner of The InsureTech of the Award, Africa. Featured on TED talks, The New York Times, The Economist.
- Impact and creation: This is a high-impact role, reporting to the CEO and Co-Founder, that offers a unique opportunity to bring the company to the next level, whilst developing new strategies, approaches and ideas.
- Leadership: The founders & CEO foster a culture of transparency, respect, high performance, pragmatism, execution and personal development.
- Purpose: It is rare to find a professional opportunity that offers accelerated professional development and a life purpose. Pula is going through a second phase of accelerated growth that will naturally provide professional development, whilst contributing to the financial stability of small farmers in the emerging markets.
- Remuneration: Competitive base salary accordingly with seniority and experience, commission on closed sales and an employee share option plan that offers an attractive equity upside.
To learn more about Pula you can visit
- TED Talk: Crop Insurance, an Idea Worth Seeding
- New York Times: He Grew up on a Farm. Now, He Helps Protect Them
- The Economist: The Poor, Who Most Need Insurance, Are Least Likely to Have It
How to apply
Fill out the form below, and upload a resume in English.
Cover letters are optional. You can add one if there is any additional information you would like to share about your interest in Pula, the role or your experience. We review applications on a rolling basis.
Pula’s mission is to provide farmer resilience. To achieve this, we put our small holder farmers that use our services and the employees that provide them at the heart of everything we do. For that purpose, Pula was created to be an equal opportunity employer that celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.