SoftBank’s Latest Investment Into PolicyBazaar Might Turn It Into An Unicorn

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PolicyBazaar, a Gurugram-based online insurance startup may soon become a unicorn following nearly $200 Mn (INR 1300 Cr) investment led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, as reported by The Times of India.


 


Sources close to the development have pointed out that the fund infusion can lead PolicyBazaar’s valuation to the tune of $1 Bn, thereby, making it a unicorn.

Indian regulatory policies do not allow foreign domestic investment in the country beyond 49% and PolicyBazaar already has marquee investors, namely Tiger Global Management and Temasek Holdings, which control 48% stake in the company.

Some sources claim that the investment of $150 Mn is expected to be directed through SoftBank’s $100 Bn vision fund, while others opine that it is coming in through primary capital. To avoid FDI violations, existing investors of PolicyBazaar including Naukri.com, Tiger Global, Temasek etc. may also invest in the nearly $300 Mn funding round.

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Also, it is also speculated that a bunch of early shareholders in the company intend to partly sell shares to incoming investors.

The speculation of a deal between SoftBank and PolicyBazaar has been going around for some time now. Earlier in the year, reports surfaced that SoftBank is in talks to invest in PolicyBazaar at a valuation of $800 Mn.However, Yashish Dahiya, PolicyBazaar’s chief executive officer, and co-founder had denied that.


About the startup

The startup with its bulk of investors including Info Edge (India), Intel Capital, Tiger Global Management, Inventus Capital Partners and Ribbit Capital, has closed Series E funding and raised $163.6 Mn since its launch.

Founded in 2008 by IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad alumni Yashish Dahiya, Alok Bansal and Avaneesh Nirjar, PolicyBazaar is an online portal allows its clients to compare life insurance and general insurance. The startup also features products from all major insurance companies in India, to help its users decide the policy which suits them the best.

Its parent company, Gurugram-based eTechAces Marketing and Consulting Pvt Ltd, also runs PaisaBazaar, a marketplace for loans and credit cards.

Reports claim that PolicyBazaar may also soon venture in healthcare segment with its product PaisaWiki. The service will provide online access to top-rated medical professionals, who will form part of its in-house team of doctors. Others associated with the service will include clinics, diagnostic centres, hospitals etc.

Experts feel that the Indian fintech software market is expected to touch $2.4 Bn by 2020, from the current $1.2 Bn. SoftBank has been the leading investor in various Indian companies post its commitment of $10 Bn in the country by 2025 and recently Masayoshi Son who is on an India visit at the moment visit said, “with $7 Bn already invested, the investment figures are likely to supersede our commitments.”


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