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Binny Bansal, others invest $65 mn in digital insurance startup Acko
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Mumbai-based online startup Acko General Insurance Co. Ltd has raised $65 million (Rs 452.3 crore) in a Series C round of funding from a clutch of new and existing investors.

New investors who came on board in this round include Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, RPS Ventures, which is managed by former managing partner at SoftBank Kabir Misra, and Intact Ventures, the strategic venture arm of Intact Financial Corporation, considered Canada's largest provider of property and casualty insurance.

Existing investors that participated in the round included Amazon, Accel, SAIF and TechPro Ventures.

While it is not clear who led the round, a Hindu Business Line report said that Bansal had invested $25 million in his personal capacity. Likewise, a TechCrunch report pegged the company’s valuation at $300 million.

Acko chief executive Varun Dua said that insurance is a capital-intensive sector and the company will raise more funds in line with its growth curve.

“Technology-led insurance is expected to play a significant role in the growth of the underpenetrated insurance sector in India,” Bansal stated.

The current round takes the total funds raised by Acko to $107 million (Rs 744.5 crore). Previously, Acko had raised Series B funding of $12 million (Rs 80 crore then) led by Amazon in May 2018. Likewise, it had also raised $30 million in seed funding in May 2017, marking one of the largest seed rounds for an Indian startup.

The company’s other investors include Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, Swiss Re, Transamerica Ventures, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, and Hexaware Technologies founder Atul Nishar. Some other investors are Ashish Dhawan of ChrysCapital, Hemendra Kothari of DSP Blackrock, veteran investment banker and founder of Arpwood Capital Rajeev Gupta, and Subba Rao of NuVentures, among others.

The company, which was registered in August 2016, was founded by MICA Ahmedabad alumnus Dua.

It operates as an independent general insurance company, offering its services through a digital platform. It provides personalised insurance products based on user behaviour, as well as general and auto insurance.

The company claims to use a direct-to-consumer approach for distributing motor insurance, allowing for favourable risk selection and underwriting. Acko also offers what it calls as microinsurance products, which include rider insurance, mobile and appliance protection and ticket cancellation. Some of the companies with which it has partnered for such products include Ola, Amazon, redBus, Zomato and UrbanClap.

In the last 12 months of operations, the company claims to have distributed insurance policies to over 20 million unique customers.

Avendus Capital was the advisor to Acko on the latest fundraise.

Recent deals

Industry experts that TechCircle recently spoke to said that the insurance-tech sector is expected to lead the next wave of innovations in the financial services space. A couple of ventures in the space have also raised big rounds in recent times.

In January this year, online insurance platform Turtlemint raised $25 million (Rs 178 crore then) in a fresh funding round led by the Indian arm of global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

In July last year, Go Digit Infoworks Services Pvt. Ltd, the parent of online insurance startup Digit Insurance, raised $45 million (around Rs 310 crore then) from existing investor Fairfax Holdings.

The month before that, ETechAces Marketing & Consulting Pvt. Ltd, the operator of online insurance selling platform PolicyBazaar.com and lending marketplace PaisaBazaar.com, raised more than $200 million (Rs 1,360 crore then) in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund.

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