Chinese investment company Tencent Holdings Ltd is said to have made an investment of $150 million in Indian online insurance aggregator startup Policybazaar.com. The deal has not been made public yet, reports Bloomberg.
According to this report, Policybazaar has been valued at $1.5 billion and Tencent has picked up a 10% stake. The fintech sector in the country has been receiving increasing attention from investors of late and Tencent itself has chosen Policybazaar as its second target for investment in the sector after it had made an investment in NiYo Solutions, a startup that is into digital banking services.
Tencent’s earlier investments in India include high-profile startups like Ola, Byju’s and Swiggy, each a major player in its own areas of business.
Coming back to Policybazaar, US investor Tiger Global Management owns 20% stake in the insurance startup.
The company that operates Policybazaar is ETech Aces Marketing and Consulting Pvt Ltd. The model followed by the online platform is to offer the visitors to its site a 360-degree view of the options available to them in terms of the insurance policies they are looking to buy. The customers then have the choice to select the insurer and the policy they wish to go with. Policybazaar then permits the customers to go ahead and buy the policy even, thereby eliminating any middlemen.
There are customer executives who offer online and offline support to the customers who are keen on learning more about the policy terms before committing themselves. All kinds of insurance police, life, general, travel and health insurance can be accessed from the Policybazaar site.
Experts forecast a bright future for the insurance sector in India since the country and its population are one of the least insured -- less than 5-6% -- and the scope is unlimited. The awareness is growing with the government itself introducing several insurance schemes, including crop insurance and health insurance. The government-run schemes are either subsidized or free to the poor as far as the premium payment is concerned. However, the beneficiaries in the marginal sections of the society are slowly learning the virtues of staying insured.
The Indian insurance sector has large public sector players like Life Insurance Corporation of India and several players in the private sector as well.