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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Binny Bansal, others lead $65 million funding in Acko
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Binny Bansal, others lead $65 million funding in Acko

Acko received one of India’s biggest seed rounds at the time, when in 2017 it raised $30 million 
  • Existing investors, including Amazon, Accel Partners and SAIF Partners also participated in the round
  •  Varun Dua, founder Acko General Insurance (Mint)Premium
     Varun Dua, founder Acko General Insurance (Mint)

    Mumbai: Online insurer Acko General Insurance Ltd Tuesday said it has raised $65 million in a round led by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and a fund led by former SoftBank managing partner Kabir Misra.

    Apart from Bansal and Misra, the other new investor was Intact Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer Intact Insurance.

    Existing investors Amazon, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners and TechPro Ventures, the family office of Hexaware founder Atul Nishar, also participated in the series C round.

    The deal also marked RPS Ventures’ second investment, after it backed social commerce platform Meesho in November last year. Avendus Capital was the banker to the deal.

    Acko, founded by Varun Dua, plans to invest the funds in technology and analytics, besides advertising and branding.

    In 2017, the company had raised $30 million seed from Accel Partners, SAIF Partners, Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. In May 2018, it raised another $12 million in a round led by Amazon India and Ashish Dhawan, founder of homegrown private equity fund ChrysCapital.

    It employs about 50 people on the technology side, which it wants to grow by three-to-fourfold in the next 18 months, Dua said over the phone.

    Acko has insured about 200,000 vehicles since 2017 and reached out to 20 million customers through bite-size offerings, Dua said. Its refers to tie-ups with companies such as Ola and Amazon to insure rides or packages as bite-sized insurance.

    Acko also plans to launch new products such as health and travel insurance towards the end of 2019.

    Dua said India’s non-life insurance market is worth about $25 billion, and is growing at 15-20% compounded annually. About 6% of this is online.

    Other insurers in India are also on a fundraising drive.

    Online insurer Turtlemint, which provides a technology platform for insurance agents to sell products, raised $25 million led by Sequoia Capital in January this year, while according to an Economic Times report, online insurance aggregator Coverfox is looking to raise up to $50 million.

    Digit Insurance, raised $44 million from Fairfax Holdings, owned by billionaire Prem Watsa, in July 2018. However, the online insurance pack is led by SoftBank-backed Policybazaar, which helps compare and buy various types of insurance products. SoftBank led a $200 million round in Policybazaar in June last year, catapulting it to the coveted unicorn club of startups valued at over a billion dollars.

    While the deal marks one of Bansal’s first deployments of the billion dollar wealth he amassed from Flipkart’s sale to Walmart, he has been an active angel investor as well. Some of his previous investments include tech-based learning startup Unacademy, fitness platform Cure.Fit, and data-driven healthcare startup SigTuple.

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    Published: 13 Mar 2019, 07:26 PM IST
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