India: Sequoia leads $25m funding in insurance startup Turtlemint

Photo: Reuters

Online insurance platform Turtlemint Insurance Pvt. Ltd., has raised $25 million in a fresh funding round led by Sequoia Capital. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Blume Ventures also participated in the round.

Mumbai-based Turtlemint provides a technology platform for insurance agents to sell their products, and currently has about 25,000 partners/agents working with it. It plans to use the funds raised to grow its partner network by ten times over the next 4-6 quarters, said

Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, co-founder of Turtlemint, in a phone interview.

Turtlemint provides car, health and life insurance, and claims to have sold over 3,00,000 policies and processed claims worth over Rs 20 crore. Its partners include Reliance General Insurance, Bajaj Allianz, and ICICI Lombard among others.

“We will use the funds raised for expanding partners 10X, creating video content and providing sales tools, and invest in technology to grow the business,” said Mahyavanshi.

It plans to create videos to help agents sell better as well as for customers to understand insurance products better, create awareness and receive advice from insurance experts.

Turtlemint provides recommendations to customers based on proprietary algorithms and data analytics, across 700 cities, to help customers select and complete their insurance purchase using their proprietary MintPro app.

The startup currently employs about 500 people, and plans to hire about 100 more in technology roles, Mahyavanshi said.

“Turtlemint has pioneered a new model that is not only bringing new agents into the insurance domain but is also helping them become more productive & effective with their customers by making them digitally savvy”, said Harshjit Sethi, Principal, Sequoia Capital India Advisors.

It last raised an undisclosed amount in 2016 from Nexus and Blume Ventures.

“The digitization of insurance value chain is a huge opportunity and benefits all the participants – customers by providing access to the right products, agents through significant business growth and productivity, and insurers through improved transparency,” said Anup Gupta, managing director, Nexus Venture Partners.

With the fundraise, Turtlemint is the latest entrant to a club of well-funded online insurance startups, led by Policybazaar, which became a unicorn, i.e. worth over a billion dollars last year. Coverfox, an insurance aggregator, and Acko, which focuses on automobile insurance, are some of the other startups in the sector. Digital incumbent Paytm also provides an option to buy insurance, and also acts as a payment mechanism for existing insurance policies.

While global ecommerce giant Amazon invested $12 million into Acko in May last year, Coverfox raised $22 million in April last year, led by International Finance Corp. (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group, and existing investor Transamerica.

“We have seen the company (Turtlemint) grow from their initial days and seen their efforts to transform the selling & buying of insurance between an agent and customer. Blume ventures foresees a great contribution of Turtlemint to the insurance ecosystem through their technology innovation” said Ashish Fafadia, Partner, Blume Ventures.

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