Financial services portal Policybazaar.com has announced that it has raised Rs.500 crore ($75 million), in a fresh round of funding. The investments in this round came from some new sources in addition to the follow-on investments by the existing participants as well. The company that runs Policybazaar.com and another site Paisabazaar.com, EtechAces Marketing and Consulting, has been valued at $500 million.
The new investors include True North and IDG Venture Partners and the third, though not officially disclosed is speculated to be Wellington Management Group, a Boston-based assets management firm. Probably, due to certain non-disclosure norms the company has not officially acknowledged this third participant in this round. The existing investors who also took a position in the investment are Temasek, Tiger Global Management and Premji Invest. Apart from all these, there were others as well.
The company official claimed that the newly sourced funds would be used towards technological improvements on their portals to make customer service more efficient and also particularly invest in Paisabazaar vertical. The site plans to enter into selling mutual funds products also in future.
Within the two sites, while Paisabazaar focuses on loans and credit cards, Policybazaar is engaged in offering comparison services and reselling of insurance policies.
Though the actual business numbers for the current year are yet to be disclosed, the company claims that it expects to clock a turnover of Rs. 400 crore this year and it also says the Paisabazaar business is drawing more visitors compared to Policybazaar, out of the 9 million hits the sites together post in a month.
As mentioned, the funds now being raised will be largely deployed in the technology space. They are trying to bring in changes in the CRM package since there are 40 insurance companies on board with a range of products and there is need for streamlining the functioning to better the customer experience. A lot of call center functions, presently being handled may have to be automated.
As for the future plans, as mentioned, launching mutual funds as an additional product portfolio is on the cards. The company also plans to go international, tapping the potential first in the Middle East.