SoftBank-backed Indian insurance platform PolicyBazaar has announced that it has raised $75 million in a new funding round led by New York-based Falcon Edge Capital.
PolicyBazaar said that the funding would fuel aggressive expansion across the UAE and the Middle East, as well as enhance customer experience by providing a suite of customized insurance and financial services products across multiple categories. The firm also places to expand to new geographies within the next 18-24 months.
The 12-year old PolicyBazaar, which has raised about $630 million to date, is an online platform that enables users to compare and purchase life and general insurance, from dozens of insurers on its website without having to go through conventional agents.
Neeraj Gupta, CEO, PolicyBazaar UAE, said, “The brand is committed to building motor, health, and life insurance product categories in the UAE region. So far, we have sold sum assured worth $100m through our term life insurance products and we intend to scale this figure to $1bn in the next 12 to 18 months. In the coming months, we aim to create efficient solutions to address the dearth of customized life insurance products to help customers get adequate financial protection against Death, Disease and Disability.”
PolicyBazaar co-founder and group CEO Yashish Dahiya said, “As a brand, we are scratching the surface of how powerful online insurance and lending business can be when it is combined with advanced technology. Our offerings are well-timed with the rapidly increasing demand for digital solutions in the insurance and financial lending sector. We believe that the $2.5bn markets will continue to see a substantial shift towards digital operations. We aspire to bring the powerful solution that we offer customers and manufacturers in India, to the UAE. The coming financial year, we aim to scale 5 times in size and scale.”
The company has worked to revolutionize the insurance market of India, which has been struggling to attract users. This is because only a fraction of India’s huge population holds an insurance policy. Nonetheless, PolicyBazaar, which compares different plans and provides the one best suited to your needs, has been able to grow in the country, and has even worked to change the perception of Indians when it comes to getting insured.
“PolicyBazaar has shown stellar innovation, execution, and relentlessness in establishing itself as the market leader in online insurance aggregation in India. We believe the playbook it has established over the last 10 years in being the most efficient sales channel for insurance manufacturers, can act as a catalyst to gain market leadership in the GCC,” said Navroz Udwadia, co-founder of Falcon Edge Capital, in a statement. Falcon Edge Capital runs the Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI) Fund to help growing Asian businesses gain market access to the UAE and the broader Middle East region. The AWI fund recently backed Bangalore-based automation platform Verloop.io last year.
PolicyBazaar, holding a dominating market share of 90% in online insurance distribution, is also working on an initial public offering (IPO) next year. The firm has had success in digitizing the insurance eco-system in India, and it hopes to replicate the same in the UAE.
India’s insurance market is such that it does not reach every person in society. Statistics provided by rating agency ICRA showed that insurance products reached less than 3% of the population as of 2017.