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Pineapple’s journey on the cloud

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Pineapple launched the world’s first decentralised insurance offering.
South Africa’s Pineapple launched the world’s first decentralised insurance offering. (Image from

South Africa’s first peer-to-peer insurance company, Pineapple was established in a bid to address customers need for simplified and on-demand services and better returns of value.

In 2018, Pineapple launched the world’s first decentralised insurance offering.

Described as a ‘digital stokvel’, Pineapple allows immediate distribution of insurance cover digitally. It eliminates lengthy sales calls as well as the excessive loadings to premiums to fund call centres by allowing the user ‘snap’ of a picture to insure. Pineapple only charges a fixed fee and returns unutilised premiums every year.

“Pineapple aims to restore the trust element back into insurance, with transparency of how your premium is being used with the unique wallet feature,” revealed co-founder of Pineapple Marnus van Heerden.

The company’s innovative approach to insurance is aided by Amazon Web Services cloud which allows Pineapple to keep track of various versions of their app as well as offering reliable services as fast as possible without wasting money.

“Amazon Web Services has allowed us to manage high load requests. Additionally, AWS solutions like AWS Lambda lets us run code without provisioning or managing servers. We pay only for the compute time that we consume – there is no charge when our code is not running. This cost saving element allows our unique business model to be more successful,” said van Heerden.

Developed on the AWS cloud where initially the API was on self-hosted infrastructure, the company has since switched to AWS EC2. They have been able to add the facility of tracking app versions with their code repositories.

“EC2 has also allowed us to do add load-balancing to our API service, enabling us to deal with high load requests, and at the same time keep our customer experience smooth and enjoyable,” revealed the co-founder.

“Our databases are also hosted on EC2 and backups are automated to save to S3 per interval. EBS Volume backups are also automated. We use CloudWatch to monitor the state of our instances. Ultimately, by providing flexible cloud our service is always online, reliable and as fast as possible without wasting money,” added van Heerden.

Pineapple will also be participating in the upcoming AWS Pop-up Loft Johannesburg – a temporary free co-working space where anyone can stop by to hang out, network, get technical advice from AWS experts or take part in a range of activities aimed at finding out how AWS can help to boost their business.

Powered by the cloud, the InsurTech startup has a bright future ahead.

“Pineapple has a global mindset and cloud hosting is perfect for scaling beyond South Africa,” said van Heerden.

The Pineapple app is available on the Google app store and Play store, the app can also be downloaded HERE.

By Fundisiwe Maseko
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