On a humid November afternoon in Lagos, Nigeria, Marnus van Heerden stands on stage for the Google Launchpad graduation, wearing Springbok rugby shorts, a T-shirt and running shoes. Even 7,000km from home, he's still proudly South African, and, if his attire is anything to go by, he's in a winning mood. This is, after all, the day he and his business partners have been working towards for three months - graduation from the Google Launchpad Accelerator programme, an incubator for tech start-ups in Africa, which operates out of Lagos. Van Heerden is representing Pineapple, a peer-to-peer insurance app he founded with Ndabenhle Junior Ngulube and Matthew Elan Smith. The three met in 2016 through a competition held by German insurance giant Hannover Re, which encouraged "disruptive thinking in the insurance industry". The founders' backgrounds are varied: from computer science and software development to accounting and law, and they continue to work with the mentors they met during the ...

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