François Petousis is one of the founders of Lumkani, a South Africa-based Insurtech. Francois founded Lumkani after his engineering thesis on developing low cost solutions to the devastation of informal settlement fires. Lumkani exists to create safe & resilient communities for under-served people, reducing risks & inequalities and promoting inclusive economic growth.
The first focus area Lumkani has tackled is that of informal settlement fires. Lumkani (recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies in Africa in 2020) has developed an
award-winning early-warning fire detection system specifically designed for urban informal settlements. This mesh networked system creates a community wide alert in the event of fire to give people the critical time to be proactive before a fire becomes dangerous. It has been installed in over 60000 homes in South Africa, Kenya and Bangladesh, and according to communities, helps to limit the spread of fire in over 95% of fire events.
Lumkani has also developed a world first fire insurance and fire detection bundled product for informal home-owners, underwritten by Hollard. As at the end of 2022, Lumkani has over 10000 customers for its fire detector and fire insurance bundled product, and covers over R380 million of informal property in South Africa.