Delhi NCR-based insurtech platform Vital has raised $3 Mn in a Pre Series A round led by BLinC Invest. Venture Catalyst, Survam Partners and several other angel investors also participated in the round.
The subscription-based insurtech platform was founded in 2020 by former co-founder of Truly Madly and a senior management member of Expedia and MakeMyTrip, Rahul Kumar and health insurance industry expert and former head of product at Apollo Munich Health Insurance, Jayan Mathews.
Vital aims to personalise the coverage for each member based on their individual needs and going beyond hospitalisation to also include essential wellness expenses in a monthly premium subscription format. It rewards its members for leading a healthier lifestyle. They can earn points for using their benefits, which can eventually be used for paying the subscriptions. The app assigns a dedicated care manager to every member for comprehending his or her needs and queries in real-time.
The health insurance platform has co-developed the insurance cover with Care Health Insurance and integrated with healthcare platforms like Mfine, Healthians, Thyrocare, 1Mg, BeatO, Fitterfly, Fitternity, Cult.Fit, and Betterlyf, for the wellness benefits. It takes less than 60 sec for a member to buy the plan and less than 2 minutes to initiate a claim or book an appointment through the Vital website and app, claims the company.
Speaking to Inc42, Kumar said that despite its early stage, the platform has experienced 200% growth since its launch last year. The current funding will take care of operational requirements for the next 12-18 months.
“Unlike traditional health insurance, which is one size fits all with an expensive annual premium and numerous terms and conditions, we at Vital are leveraging technology and data science to build a more personalised experience with an integrated health and wellness approach and smarter product structuring to make the premiums much more affordable,” said Kumar, cofounder and CEO, Vital.
While its current customer base is largely urban in the age groups of 25-55, the fintech startup plans to launch SME and gig-worker focussed products shortly.
“Our current average ticket size is upwards of INR 900 for individual customers but as we seek to expand to a larger product base, we will introduce health insurance products with lower monthly premium value,” added Kumar.
As per the recent Insurtech report by BLinC Invest, the Indian insurance industry has a market size of $106 Bn and life insurance accounts for 75% of that, after private players entered the industry in 1999 and contributed to its exponential growth.
“We at BLinC Invest are excited to associate with the team in their endeavour to reimagine the entire value chain of health cover by going beyond just hospitalisation and help people change their way of managing health and wellness expenses,” said Amit Ratanpal, founder and MD, BLinC Invest.
According to General Insurance Council data almost INR 24,000 Cr worth of claims have been paid under medical insurance due to COVID-19-related hospitalisation and associated expenses. During the pre-covid times, the number of people who purchased comprehensive insurance plans was approximately 32%, while now after being hit by one of the biggest pandemics, this percentage has shot up to 55%.
As employers are leveraging health benefits to attract and retain people during the ongoing pandemic, it has been a big shot in the arm for the health insurance industry in India. With more and more people needing hospitalisation due to Covid and medical costs continuing to skyrocket, both individuals and enterprises are signing up for private health insurance.
“Vital is leveraging world-class technology and data science to bring transparency in this fragmented space and empower the customers. It is an innovative approach with tremendous disruptive potential and makes us confident in our bet on the startup. The funds will significantly help Vital scale and transform the way health insurance is perceived in India,” said Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, cofounder and president, Venture Catalysts.
In 2020, for the first time, health insurance became the most valuable segment for non-life insurers in terms of premiums collected, leapfrogging motor insurance. According to figures compiled by the General Insurance Council and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the health insurance portfolio grew 11% year on year in FY21 to INR 58,584 Cr, due to the pandemic.