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Business News/ Insurance / News/  Abu Dhabi firm to invest $70 mn in Policybazaar

Abu Dhabi firm to invest $70 mn in Policybazaar

Insurance aggregator may be valued at $2 billion ahead of IPO

Policybazaar chief executive Yashish Dahiya. MintPremium
Policybazaar chief executive Yashish Dahiya. Mint

Abu Dhabi investment firm ADQ is set to invest $70 million in the parent of Policybazaar, the insurance aggregator that is planning to go public this year, two people familiar with the development said.

The investment will value Etechaces Marketing and Consulting Pvt. Ltd, the 13-year-old company that also runs Paisabazaar, at about $2 billion, the people said requesting anonymity.

If the deal is completed, ADQ will join prominent investors, including SoftBank, Tiger Global, Inventus, Temasek, Premji Invest, Info Edge, and Wellington, in investing in Etechaces. The fintech company has raised $364 million so far.

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“We have had conversations and made significant progress. We can close it sometime this week," a person involved in the deal-making process said, adding that the investor was ironing out a few bottlenecks ahead of an announcement.

Last July, Policybazaar chief executive Yashish Dahiya told Bloomberg News that the company was aiming to raise $500 million in an initial public offering targeted for September this year.

ADQ is headed by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the national security adviser of the United Arab Emirates and the brother of Abu Dhabi crown prince and UAE’s de facto leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

ADQ did not respond to Mint’s queries around the proposed investment.

“We do get a lot of interest from marquee investors such as ADQ, but nothing to share on this one currently," said a spokesperson for Policybazaar.

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The investment, if it materializes, will mark ADQ’s expansion in India. The state-owned holding company, which invests in non-oil assets, is building out a global investment platform and views Policybazaar as an attractive option in India. The online insurance aggregator processes about 500,000 transactions a month. In January, ADQ invested 555 crore for a 1.8% minority stake in Biocon Biologics, a unit of Biocon, at a post-money valuation of $4.17 billion.

In May, ADQ launched Alpha Wave Incubation Fund, a AED1.1 billion venture fund, which would invest in early-stage businesses in India and South-East Asia.

The investment in Policybazaar, however, wouldn’t be through this fund, one of the two people said.

The latest investment will come at a time when Flipkart, Zomato and a host of other Indian internet companies are eyeing the public markets, even as the government has proposed to ease restrictions on foreign listing.

Last year, the government announced a series of reforms as a response to the pandemic, one of which included direct listing of securities by Indian companies in “permissible foreign jurisdictions".

Etechaces turned unicorn in mid-2018 when it raised more than $200 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund.

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Published: 15 Feb 2021, 06:13 AM IST
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