Digital insurance startup Acko acqui-hires car-retailing platform VLer

Digital insurance startup Acko acqui-hires car-retailing platform VLer
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Thinkstock
3 Jun, 2019

Digital insurance platform Acko Technology and Services Pvt. Ltd said it has acqui-hired car-retailing platform VLer Technology.

Acko aims to expand the base of its auto ecosystem with this acquisition, whose value it did not disclose, a company statement said. VLer’s capabilities and know-how in the online car-retailing space will be leveraged by Acko to improve customer experience throughout the lifecycle of car purchase and usage, the statement added.

A data-driven platform for car buying which conjures up variables such as real-time pricing, VLer was founded in 2016. Its founders, Sanjay Bharti and Akash Saxena, have joined the technology team of Acko. VLer functions on an algorithm-based recommendation system to facilitate its customers’ car-buying experience. The platform, now a part of Acko, also makes provisions for services such as financing, insurance and filing of other paperwork even after car purchase.  

“Insurtech is our core focus area. Our next steps on this track are to track down various data points on customer behaviour, usage patterns to enhance insurance and underwriting technology,” said Ruchi Deepak, co-founder of Acko. “We believe with the domain expertise of VLer team, it will help us leverage this better,” added Deepak.

Acko, the first exclusively online general insurance platform, was founded in 2016 as a holding company of Varun Dua’s Amazon-backed Acko General Insurance Ltd.

Varun Dua founded Acko General Insurance after leaving insurance brokerage Coverfox, a platform he co-founded with Devendra Rane.

In an interview with TechCircle, Dua revealed his plans to add health insurance as an offering.

In May 2018, e-commerce giant Amazon and Narayan Murthy-led Catamaran Ventures participated in a $12 million funding round for the digital insurance platform.

Earlier this year, Acko secured funding from Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal after TechCircle reported in late 2018 that he was in talks with the digital-first insurance platform.

In addition to Bansal, RPS Ventures and Intact Ventures, one of Canada’s largest insurance-providers, helped raise $65 million in Acko’s Series C round of funding.

In another interview with TechCircle this April, Dua had said that he did see the scope for acquisitions to fortify verticals that can bolster customer experience, pricing or access to distribution. The acquisition of VLer falls in line with the plans Dua had for Acko’s road map.