PolicyBazaar raises $200 mn from SoftBank, others; joins unicorn club

PolicyBazaar raises $200 mn from SoftBank, others; joins unicorn club
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ETechAces Marketing & Consulting Pvt. Ltd, the operator of online insurance selling platform PolicyBazaar.com and lending marketplace PaisaBazaar.com, has raised $200 million (Rs 1,360 crore) in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund.

Existing investors including Info Edge (India) Ltd, the parent of jobs portal Naukri.com, also took part in the Series F round, PolicyBazaar said in a statement on Monday. It didn’t give any details of the round or the valuation.

However, a person close to the company said PolicyBazaar existing investors Temasek, Tiger Global Management, True North and PremjiInvest also took part in this round.

The person, who didn’t wish to be identified, also said that PolicyBazaar raised this round at a valuation of $1 billion, making it the newest entrant to the Indian unicorn club.

Separately, in a regulatory filing, Info Edge said that the company and SoftBank and invested about $45 million each, for a total stake of 8.93% stake. This also translates to a valuation of about $1 billion.

The new round comes a little less than eight months after PolicyBazaar raised $77 million in a Series E round at a valuation of $500 million. It also comes days after another Indian tech startup, food delivery company Swiggy, joined the unicorn club after raising $210 million.

As for SoftBank, it adds to its growing investments in India. The Japanese tech investor—either itself through its $100 billion Vision Fund—has previously backed online retailers Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm, ride-hailing firm Ola, online grocer Grofers, hotel room aggregator Oyo, mobile advertising firm InMobi and instant messaging app Hike. Last month, however, the SoftBank Vision Fund agreed to sell its stake in Flipkart to US-based retailer Walmart Inc.

“We believe that the Indian insurance market continues to remain massively under-developed and PolicyBazaar.....is uniquely positioned to dramatically increase the adoption of insurance products in the country,” said Munish Varma, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

The Info Edge filing also said that PolicyBazaar clocked Rs 358.27 crore in revenue for the financial year through March 2018. This is up from Rs 212.87 crore for 2016-17 and Rs 109.54 crore the year before.

The filing didn’t disclose the profit or loss number. According to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle, PolicyBazaar had swung to a net profit of Rs 75.8 crore for 2016-17 from a loss of Rs 79.5 crore the year before.

The company was also exploring an initial share sale in India as well as in the US. Late last year, it had met merchant bankers for the proposed $1.5-2 billion (Rs 9,660-12,900 crore) IPO, VCCircle reported at the time.

Founded in 2008 by Dahiya and Alok Bansal, PolicyBazaar has raised capital across at least five rounds. Its early backers were Info Edge, Intel Capital and Inventus Capital, according to VCCEdge. It also counts Steadview Capital, ABG Capital and Ribbit Capital among its investors.

PolicyBazaar offers various financial products, including insurance policies and loans, and helps consumers select a scheme based on an analysis of products, price, quality and key benefits.

PaisaBazaar, which is its online loan and credit cards marketplace was set up in 2014 and was en-route to clock Rs 400 crore in revenue, Dahiya had said at the time of it Series E fundraise. He had also said that the company had plans to launch overseas operations, with West Asia, and more specifically Dubai, likely to be its first port of call.