India’s First Insurance Startup ‘Acko General Insurance’ Raises $30M
Investors include Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures; Kris Gopalakrishnan, the cofounder of Infosys; Hemendra Kothari of DSP Blackrock; Accel Partners and SAIF Partners
Photo Credit : Founder Image: Twitter,
Varun Dua, founder of India's first insurance startup, 'Acko'
Set up by Varun Dua, previously founder of Coverfox, Acko General Insurance has received it’s in principle regulatory clearance to launch a general insurance business in India. The company has received R1 license and has filed for R2 license with the insurance authority.
In a regulated business, Acko has raised 30 million dollars, which in effect makes it one of the largest seed rounds for a startup in India. The company is backed by Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures; Venk Krishnan and Subba Rao of NuVentures; Kris Gopalakrishnan the cofounder of Infosys; Hemendra Kothari of DSP Blackrock; Atul Nishar, the founder and chairman of Hexaware Technologies; Rajeev Gupta, the founder of Arpwood Capital; Accel Partners and SAIF Partners. More investors are slated to back the company, as active interest in the Insurtech sector plays out globally.
Acko will operate as an independent general insurance company with its entire operations offered through the digital platform. It will create products and deliver opportunities in areas where there are gaps such as personalized insurance products based on user consumption behaviors.
“Insurance the world over and especially in India has massive opportunities with harnessing technology for lower distribution costs, algorithmic customized pricing and automated claims. The opportunity is even wider if innovative products which are designed to be consumed online within the internet economy can be made to work in a way that customers find it relevant and easy to access”, said Varun Dua, founder, Acko.
“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”, he added.
“We believe fintech worldwide and especially in India is going to evolve from enabling convenient distribution to disruptive product creation and Acko is an endeavor in line with this evolution. Consumers need to be given more innovative product choices, at a price point that is ‘designed’ for them and at an unparalleled convenience and service levels. 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", said Vivek Mathur, managing director of SAIF Partners.
US, China and Europe have seen a funding blitzkrieg as technology disrupts the Insurance ecosystem. Oscar Health and Lemonade in the US and Zhong An in China have exploded to billion dollar valuations 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.
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