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Binny Bansal puts $20m more in insurance company Acko

With the fresh infusion of capital, Bansal’s total investment in the new-age insurance firm will go up to $45 million, making it his largest personal bet on an Indian startup.

Nov 29, 2019, 08.57 AM IST
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Binny Bansal - BCCL
In 2017, Acko General Insurance had spun off as an independent entity after a restructuring at online insurance aggregator Coverfox, which saw its cofounder Dua step out to kickstart the insurtech platform.
BENGALURU: Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal is doubling down on insurance technology startup Acko by pumping in an additional $20 million into the company as part of its latest financing round, according to people in the know of the development.

With the fresh infusion of capital, Bansal’s total investment in the new-age insurance firm will go up to $45 million, making it his largest personal bet on an Indian startup.

Acko Technology, which runs Acko General Insurance, is in the process of raising a fresh funding round which is expected to be around $40-42 million in size.

The capital raising will also see private equity fund Ascent Capital invest $16 million, as per regulatory filings to the Registrar of Companies. Others like Baring Private Equity Partners India and Ventureast are also likely to participate in the funding round, people close to the matter said. The entire financing, including Bansal’s investment, is domestic capital and subject to regulatory approval. Companies in the insurance sector have to abide by a 49% foreign direct investment or FDI cap in India.

Besides Acko, Bansal has cut large cheques for robotics startup GreyOrange which raised $140 million and Mobikon, a dataexchange platform which recently picked up $12.5 million from the entrepreneur-turned-investor. When contacted by ET, both Bansal and Acko’s CEO, Varun Dua, declined to comment. Bansal is also close to launching a growth-stage technology focused $350-400 million investment fund, which will back startups in India and Southeast Asia. However, Acko will not be a part of the fund, said sources.

Expected to be formalised by March next year, Bansal’s fund will back companies with $15-30 million in capital. Bansal stepped down as Flipkart group CEO and chairman after an investigation into charges of “personal misconduct”, although US-based Walmart, which acquired majority stake in the homegrown etailer last year, said those charges were found to be untrue. He still holds around 3% in Flipkart.

In 2017, Acko General Insurance had spun off as an independent entity after a restructuring at online insurance aggregator Coverfox, which saw its cofounder Dua step out to kickstart the insurtech platform. The company is targeting to hit $100 million in annualised run rate by March 2020. Insurtech startups globally are looking to disrupt the age-old insurance industry.

Acko, which is modelled on the likes of Geico and Progressive in the US and China’s Alibaba and Tencentbacked Zhong An, operates in two verticals — car and bike insurance — which it sells directly to consumers.

It also co-creates products and solutions which cater to new economy and Internet companies. These include gadget protection for Amazon, ride insurance on Ola and its drivers, and partnerships with Zomato and the gig economy workforce. Overall, the online insurance industry has seen a flurry of activity, with multiple major tech companies entering the space as distributors of products.

Amazon, Paytm, Ola are among the few tech firms that have identified insurance to push their ambition in the financial services sector. Acko also competes with the likes of Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax-backed Digit Insurance.

In its previous funding round, Acko raised $65 million from Bansal, RPS Ventures and Intact Ventures. The Bengalurubased Acko has, till date, mopped up more than $100 million from investors like Amazon, Accel, SAIF Partners, among others.

Also Read

IIT-Delhi's distinguished alumni award for Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal

Binny Bansal to set up $400 million VC fund

Binny Bansal sells Flipkart shares worth $14 million to Tiger Global

Mobikon raises US$ 12.5 mln Series B round led by Binny Bansal

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