Etechaces Marketing and Consulting, the holding company of insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar, recently raised close to $130 million from Japanese investment behemoth Softbank in lieu of a 15 per cent stake.
However, Yashish Dahiya, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, clarified it is a part of its $200 million capital raise announced exactly two years ago.
“It took forever for the capital to flow into the company since there were various FDI considerations being worked out in India to allow 100 per cent foreign capital to come into insurance intermediaries,” he said. “While only a part of the capital could be raised earlier, the remaining amount came in only now.”
However, PolicyBazaar, claims Dahiya, is well funded. “So far, we have raised about $345 million in funding, out of which we have more than $200 million in the bank. We promised to do the deal at one time, so we did it. We did not require the capital as such but having extra is never bad.”
Going forward, the company plans to hit the bourses anytime after September next year as it will “take us at least 12 months to prepare… it is a process that will help increase transparency and reduce opaqueness,” said Dahiya.
PolicyBazaar claims to be riding on the COVID-19 crisis as the sale of insurance products has seen a surge over the past few months. “Two trends are picking up with the COVID-19 crisis. One, people are increasingly buying health and life insurance products, and two, they are buying online. However, going forward, we are working hard to make it affordable for people.”
Edited excerpts of an interview