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  • General Atlantic wants to increase stake in Amazon-backed insurtech Acko • australiabusinessblog.com

General Atlantic wants to increase stake in Amazon-backed insurtech Acko • australiabusinessblog.com

General Atlantic is in talks to invest about $50 million in Acko, two sources familiar with the matter told australiabusinessblog.com, doubling their bet on Indian insurtech at a time when most investors are cautiously entering investment opportunities.

The New York-based growth equity investor is positioning itself to lead a new funding round of about $100 million in the Indian startup, the sources said, asking for anonymity as the details are private. The new round — funded almost entirely by existing lenders — is likely to continue at a flat valuation of $1.1 billion, one of the sources said.

The investment is not yet finalized, so the terms of the deal may still change, the sources warned. Acko, which turned a unicorn last year after securing a financing round led by General Atlantic, and the investment company declined to comment Wednesday.

The new deliberations follow Acko meeting with PayU earlier this year to raise a round of more than $200 million at a valuation of $1.8 billion, one of the sources said. It is not clear why those talks did not go through. Indian newspaper Economic Times reported last month that PayU had offered Acko a term sheet.

Acko — which counts Lightspeed Venture Partners India, CPPIB, Amazon and Multiples Private Equity among its existing lenders — is one of a handful of startups trying to tackle the country’s aging insurance sector with a digital-first product. It develops and sells bite-sized auto insurance products (aimed at drivers and others in transportation-related scenarios), healthcare protections to employers, as well as gadget protection.

The startup has distribution partners with a number of companies, including Amazon, an existing investor in Acko, as well as travel and hotel booking platform MakeMyTrip, ride-hailing firm Ola, insurance giant Bajaj Finance and Urban Company.

Acko said last year it covers nearly a million gig workers in the country through partnerships with companies, including food delivery giants Swiggy and Zomato.

Offering a large catalog of bite-sized insurance policies is crucial for businesses in India. Only a fraction of the country’s 1.3 billion people currently have access to insurance, and most cannot afford large policies. According to ICRA rating agency, insurance products had reached less than 3% of the population in 2017. An average Indian earns about $2,100 per year, according to the World Bank. ICRA estimated that of those Indians who bought an insurance product, they spent less than $50 on it in 2017.

The new funding deliberations come at a time when deal flow activity has taken a heavy blow in the South Asian market as investors become cautious about writing new checks and evaluating their underwriting models after valuations of publicly traded companies plummet.

Indian startups raised $3 billion in the quarter ended September, down 57% from the previous quarter and 80% year-over-year, according to market intelligence platform Tracxn.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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