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South African investor Yellowwoods leads Series A funding in Toffee Insurance
From L to R Nishant Jain & Rohan Kumar

Digital platform Toffee Insurance on Wednesday said it has raised $5.5 million (Rs 39 crore) in its Series A round of funding led by IVM Intersurer, a vehicle of South African investment firm Yellowwoods.

Existing investors Omidyar Network, Accion Venture Lab and Kalaari Capital also participated in the funding round, said Toffee Insurance in a statement.

Venture capital firm Flourish Ventures, which was established this year and is funded by Omidyar Network founder Pierre Omidyar, also pooled in capital, it added.

Toffee Insurance, which is operated by Gurugram-based Toffcover Insurance Marketing Pvt. Ltd, aims to use the funds to make insurance more accessible and strengthen its product technology, customer experience and lateral distribution.

Founded by Nishant Jain and Rohan Kumar, the digital platform launched its beta version in December 2017. Toffee Insurance said its tech platform helps customise insurance products for customers as per the lifestyle and daily needs. The startup has tied up with large insurers such as Apollo Munich, HDFC Ergo, Future Generali, ICICI Prudential, Tata AIG and Religare to provide curated policies.

Toffee Insurance added it primarily caters to B2B markets with some of its major clients including Wildcraft, Eko India Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, Hero Cycles, Firefox Cycles and TI Cycles. It currently has a distribution network of over 4,000 point of sale outlets across more than 300 cities.

The startup had raised $1.5 million (around Rs 10 crore) in seed funding led by venture capital firm Kalaari Capital and social-impact investors Omidyar Network and Accion Venture Lab in May last year. Prior to this, it had raised angel funding from Vivek Gujral, co-founder of insurance software firm OneShield Inc., and Harshal Shah, Citibank executive.

Nic Kohler, managing partner at IVM Intersurer, said that Toffee Insurance is breaking down traditional barriers to help access insurance at scale by leveraging a unique combination of digital and physical capabilities.

The insurance-tech sector has attracted considerable investor interest of late.

Just last month, Acko Technology & Services Pvt. Ltd, which operates an eponymous insurance technology startup, raised $20 million more from existing investor Binny Bansal. This came just months after the Flipkart co-founder took part in a $65 million (around Rs 452.3 crore) Series C funding round in Acko in March.

In July, digital insurance platform RenewBuy raised Rs 130 crore ($18.85 million) in a Series B funding round led by impact venture capital firm Lok Capital and IIFL Asset Management Ltd.

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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