In what could be one of the largest seed rounds for a startup in India, Varun Dua’s Acko General Insurance raises $ 30 million. The company is looking to launch a General Insurance business in India and had received its in-principle clearance to do so.
Acko is backed by by Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, Venk Krishnan and Subba Rao of NuVentures, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder Infosys, Hemendra Kothari of DSP Blackrock, Atul Nishar – Founder & Chairman of Hexaware Technologies, Rajeev Gupta, veteran investment banker and Founder of Arpwood Capital, Accel and SAIF Partners.
The company’s entire operations will be offered through the digital platform and will function as an independent general insurance company. They are hoping to deliver opportunities in areas where tey see gaps, like those in personalized insurance products based on user consumption behaviours.
According to Acko founder Varun Dua, insurance has massive opportunities to lower distribution costs by harnessing technology and using algorithmic customized pricing and automated claims. He believes that the opportunity is widened even further if the innovative products, designed to be consumed online, can be made to function in a way that consumers find easy and relevant.
He adds, “With Acko we want to make insurance so straightforward that consumers don’t need to talk to multiple people to get advice or fill up forms. Consumers should be able to access low prices in one click based on their risk profile, and be confident that at a press of a button – their claim will get paid in the fastest possible time. In today’s connected world, we believe it can reach a point that the customer should get his claim without him even lodging it. Connectivity can make it possible and the ecosystem today exists to make it happen.”
According to the Acko, the US, Europe and China have received a ton of funding because of using technology to disrupt the insurance ecosystem. Numerous billion-dollar valuations have taken place in as the sector sees start-ups capturing niche markets, disrupting various parts of the value chain and focusing on millenials who need a simpler, customized and more transparent way of dealing with their insurance.
While Acko has received the R1 license clearance, they have further applied for the R2 license insurance authority.
Going with the belief that customers need to be given more innovative product choices at suitable price points with convenience, Vivek Mathur, Managing Director, SAIF Partners, says, “All of this is only possible within the construct of ‘manufacturing insurance’ and thus we are delighted to support Acko in being the first fully digital insurer of the country.”
Hoping that the use of tech driven efficiencies could redefine this space, Atul Nishar, Founder & Chairman of Hexaware Technologies, adds, “Fintech is disrupting the financial services industry in India and we want to be a part of this disruption.”