Indian insurance platform InsuranceDekho has raised $150 million in a Series A funding round as the more than a decade old firm eyes merger and acquisition opportunities at a time when the market slump has engulfed most startups in the South Asian market.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management and TVS Capital Fund led the Series A funding round, the 13-year-old startup said. The round includes some debt — about $40 million — but its executives said that more than a half of the raise was against equity.
The Series A funding values the Gurugram-headquartered startup, which was incubated within the unicorn group automobile marketplace group CarDekho, at between $475 million to $500 million, according to a person familiar with the matter. In an interview with TechCrunch, InsuranceDekho executives declined to comment on the valuation, but said they were in the “soonicorn” club. Investcorp, Avataar Ventures and LeapFrog Investments also participated in the round.
InsuranceDekho works with over 80,000 “agents” who help educate the market and sell insurance coverages. Coverage on automobiles is currently the most popular insurance product that the startup sells, it said, as it gears up to expand into health and life categories as well as serving the small and medium sized enterprises.
India’s current insurance penetration remains below 5% of the GDP, compared to 12% in the U.S. An average Indian makes about $2,100 in a year, according to World Bank. The rating agency ICRA estimated that of those Indians who had purchased an insurance product, they were spending less than $50 on it in 2017.
Ankit Agrawal, co-founder and chief executive of InsuranceDekho, said the startup has established presence in about 98% of all zipcodes in the nation, giving it an opportunity to go deeper as the market matures.
“We need to go beyond the urban regions when it comes to insurance penetration in the country. To realize our goal of democratizing insurance for the general public, we are expanding our reach and will continue to build on our tech-based solutions and empowered advisors so that they can serve every village and region of India by the end of the year,” said Agrawal.
More to follow.