The Delhi High Court has slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh on online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar for concealing facts to obtain an ex-parte order restricting online startup Acko General Insurance from using its name and similar terms in Google’s paid-search service.
An ex-parte petition is made without notifying the other party when obtaining an order is urgent. An ex-parte order resulting from the petition is temporary, and the court has to hold a full hearing within a short period of its issuance.
After filing a petition in April, Gurugram-based PolicyBazaar obtained an ex-parte order on 16 May. In response, Mumbai-based online startup Acko sought vacation of the order, saying PolicyBazaar itself was doing the same, using the word “Acko” in Google’s paid-search service. Admitting to the practice, PolicyBazaar told the court it had stopped the same since 23 April, the day of filing the petition.
The next date of hearing is 11 July.
Both PolicyBazaar and Acko are well-funded players in the online insurance products’ space. PolicyBazaar, which aggregates insurance products, has forayed into healthtech services through the launch of Docprime.
On the other hand, Acko offers its own products under two categories: Car and micro insurance. A statement by Acko indicated that PolicyBazaar is also seeking a licence to offer its own products.
PolicyBazaar has raised more than $300 million so far from the likes of SoftBank, Temasek, Tiger Global Management, Premji Invest, Steadview Capital, Ribbit Capital, Info Edge, and Intel Capital.
Acko, founded in 2017, has raised more than $100 million from the likes of SAIF Partners, Amazon, Accel, Catamaran Ventures, DSP GROUP, Swiss Re, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, and Transamerica Ventures.
Earlier this month, Acko acqui-hired car-retailing platform VLer Technology to expand its automobile ecosystem.