Indian online insurer Acko raises $255mln for expansion drive

Automobile insurance is Acko's biggest revenue driver

  
An employee counts U.S. dollar bank-notes near Vietnamese dong bank-notes at a bank in Hanoi, Vietnam August 12, 2015. Image used for illustrative purpose.

An employee counts U.S. dollar bank-notes near Vietnamese dong bank-notes at a bank in Hanoi, Vietnam August 12, 2015. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Kham

NEW DELHI: India's Acko General Insurance said on Thursday it had raised $255 million to fund growth plans in a Series D funding round that helped the online insurer hit "unicorn" status with a valuation of $1.1 billion.

Growth equity investor General Atlantic and India's Multiples Private Equity led the fundraising, Acko said, adding that Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, venture firm Lightspeed, and some existing investors had also participated in the round.

Automobile insurance is Acko's biggest revenue driver and the company also offers insurance for smartphones, laptops and other home electronics products sold on the India website of Amazon, which is also an investor in the startup.

Acko, which also began offering corporate health insurance about a year ago, will use the new funds to double down on health insurance, the company's founder and CEO Varun Dua said.

"We will have a direct-to-consumer health product which will launch early next year," Dua told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The funds will also be used to develop new insurance products, for taking them to customers, as well as for fostering partnerships in the wider health economy including with hospitals, Dua added.

The company could also offer life insurance products in future, although there were no immediate plans, Dua said.

Acko will likely consider a public listing sometime in 2023 or 2024, Dua said.

Acko, founded in 2015, competes with players including SoftBank -backed Policybazaar and ICICI Lombard in India's crowded insurance sector.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by David Holmes) ((sankalp.phartiyal@thomsonreuters.com; +91-11-49548064;))


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