Tencent buys Tiger Global stake to bet on PolicyBazaar
Photo Credit: Reuters

Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd has picked up a stake in Indian insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, as it continues to ramp up its bets on internet companies in the South Asian nation.

Tencent bought into the Indian company by purchasing part of the stake held by US-based Tiger Global Management, according to a top executive at another PolicyBazaar investor.

Hitesh Oberoi, managing director and CEO at Info Edge (India) Ltd, disclosed the transaction during the Mumbai-listed company’s second-quarter earnings call. He didn’t give any financial details.

However, reports earlier this week suggested that Tencent had acquired a 10% stake in PolicyBazaar, operated by ETech Aces Marketing and Consulting Pvt. Ltd, for $150 million (around Rs 1,070.6 crore), valuing the aggregator at $1.5 billion.

“(The) secondary sale between Tencent and Tiger Global was executed only recently,” Oberoi said during the call, adding that Info Edge will maintain its stake in  PolicyBazaar.

Info Edge, the operator of online platforms such as Naukri and Jeevansaathi, holds stakes in several technology firms such as restaurant search platform Zomato, ed-tech startup NoPaperForms and e-learning firm Meritnation. It made at least three bets last month through investments in Happily Unmarried Marketing Pvt. Ltd, Greytip Software Pvt. Ltd and Adda247.

PolicyBazaar, founded by Yashish Dahiya and Alok Bansal in 2008, has raised capital across at least five rounds. Its early backers were Info Edge, Intel Capital and Inventus Capital, according to VCCEdge, the data research arm of Mosaic Digital. It also counts Steadview Capital, ABG Capital and Ribbit Capital among its investors.

In June last year, it raised $200 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund. Info Edge, Singapore state investment firm Temasek, Tiger Global, Indian private equity firm True North and family office PremjiInvest also took part in the round.

The stake pickup in PolicyBazaar represents the latest bet by Tencent, which has invested in Indian companies across sectors. For example, at the end of October, it led a $110.8 million funding round in MX Player, the over-the-top video platform that was acquired by Times Internet Ltd last year.

That month, it also participated in a $56 million Series B funding round in MyGate, a security management app for gated premises. It also invested in Khatabook, a platform that enables small and medium enterprises to record and track business transactions. In July, it joined the Series B funding round of neo-banking startup NiYO.  

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