Exclusive: Ideal Insurance's upcoming online platform gets funding
Kolkata-based insurance broking firm Ideal Insurance is all set to launch an online insurance platform christened 121Policy.com that will primarily focus on health insurance. The company has raised an undisclosed amount from former Just Dial chief technology officer Sandipan Chattopadhyay's technology incubator Xelpmoc.
The company is beta testing the portal currently and plans to launch it on January 1, 2017, Rahul Agarwal, founder and director of Ideal Insurance told Techcircle.
"Health is the space where we want to create our niche. There is a huge requirement and demand for health insurance. We are a very strong player offline, our claim settlement is fantastic and we want to capitalise our offline experience and expertise online," he said.
Agarwal said it's a structured deal involving cash, stake and technology partnership where Xelpmoc builds and maintains the technology infrastructure for 121Policy.
"We planned 121 Policy and were thinking of developing the required technology infrastructure in-house. However, we then realised that it's always good to have an external partner who is an expert in technology, which is not our forte. That's when we connected with Xelpmoc and it led to a strong strategic relationship," he added.
Rahul claimed the investment was made on an Rs 100 crore valuation on Ideal Insurance.
121 Policy will primarily focus health insurance. It will specialise on family health insurance, maternity cover, senior citizen health coverage, diabetic cover, corporate health insurance, overseas health insurance, and health quotes.
"Most of the online companies sell a lot of motor insurance which is a low-hanging fruit. We are taking a little more long-term approach. We see huge growth potential for health insurance in the long term," Agarwal said.
Rahul Mohata, chief operation officer at Ideal Insurance will be heading 121Policy. Mohata has been with Ideal Insurance since 2009. He previously co-founded Fastrek, a financial service provider and Insurisk, a wholesale insurance broker.
Agarwal wants to sell at least 1,000 health policies a month consistently for 3-6 months within a year from the launch before ramping up plans for expansion. "We are not going to go very aggressive at the beginning. We do not have a war chest of money to burn on marketing and advertising. We want to spend small, make mistakes and see what works and what doesn't, and go all out on the market," he said.
Ideal Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd is an insurance management company providing insurance-based risk solutions to both individuals and corporate. A licensed insurance broker, it can work across every insurance company and offers a range of insurance products including heath, life, fire, marine, infrastructure, and credit insurances.
Xelpmoc was launched by Chattopadhyay along with Rajesh Dembla, former group VP - global operations at Just Dial and Srinivas Koora, deputy - CFO at Just Dial. It operates on a model where it partners with startups as an incubator and a partner where it takes a stake in the company and develops the product and manages it. The company also helps startups with strategies for business, growth, finance, legal and compliance framework. Xelpmoc incubates startups across sectors like finance, e-commerce, travel, education, social media, gaming and communication.
The online insurance brokerage space has also seen a handful of deals in the last two years. Mumbai-based Coverfox Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd, which runs a portal for comparing and buying insurance online, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Catamaran Ventures, the private investment arm of Infosys' co-founder NR Narayana Murthy.
In the online insurance comparison sector, Coverfox faces stiff competition from PolicyBazaar, which is planning to get listed on the Nasdaq.
PolicyBazaar had also raised around $40 million (Rs 248 crore then) in its Series D round of funding last year from PremjiInvest, the personal investment vehicle of Wipro chairman Azim Premji, and other investors including Tiger Global.
Turtlemint, an online personalised insurance platform, had raised an undisclosed amount of funds in a round led by Nexus Venture Partners.
Insurance marketplace for the rural sector GramCover had raised Rs 8 crore from Venture capital firm Omnivore Capital this month.