Active Stocks
Wed Sep 27 2023 10:11:16
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 127.6 -0.97%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,518.5 -1.25%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 238.95 -0.52%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 197.8 -0.3%
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 618.5 -0.2%
Business News/ Companies / News/  Why Policybazaar is in Alok Mittal's anti-portfolio

Venture capital investments often rely on the hockey-stick phenomenon: a startup initially invests in building the infrastructure and attaining the product-market fit. And then, boom! You sell and collect, scale like a hockey stick.

Investments that don’t fit this world view are often regarded as more conventional businesses, which may take too long to deliver venture-style returns. I, as part of Canaan Partners, missed seeing that hockey stick at Policybazaar.

Yashish (Dahiya) is an old friend from IIT, and we had early access to his plans when he was starting Policybazaar. However, the delivery model continued to have significant friction, and seemed like a barrier to scale. Besides, insurers were investing heavily in their own direct businesses, which could compete with Policybazaar’s intermediation model. Finally, there was regulatory uncertainty surrounding web-based marketing platforms in insurance. I did not pursue Yashish aggressively and frittered away the relationship advantage. With the benefit of hindsight, Policybazaar build a great business.

First, they embraced the delivery friction (“it is what it is") and executed well to ensure it becomes a competitive advantage rather than a scale limiter. Second, they invested smartly in brand building—their early campaign around “Ullu mat bannaa" was controversial, but broke the clutter. Finally, they were able to tweak their business model with agility as the regulations evolved.

These factors ensured they thrived. Now, they are riding the second wave of value creation through extensive data that they have access to. They have also established a lead in lending aggregation through the Paisabazaar brand. As an investor, I feel great to be proven wrong on my passes. And that too by a friend—priceless!

PS: After I left Canaan, Yashish did allow me to write a small personal cheque to Policybazaar.

Alok Mittal is co-founder, Indifi Technologies and Indian Angel Network.

"Exciting news! Mint is now on WhatsApp Channels 🚀 Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest financial insights!" Click here!

Catch all the Corporate news and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Updated: 12 Feb 2019, 02:05 AM IST
Next Story
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App