Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent Holdings has reportedly acquired 10% minority stake in Indian insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar worth $1.5 Bn. The deal was signed earlier this week.
Tencent Holdings recently entered the fintech sector with funding for neobanking platform NiYo. Other companies in Tencent’s India portfolio include messaging app WeChat, which has a minor presence in India, besides unicorns Ola, BYJU’s and Swiggy.
Founded in 2008 by Alok Bansal, Avaneesh Nirjar and Yashish Dahiya, PolicyBazaar Group has two entities: PolicyBazaar and PaisaBazaar. The company was founded in 2008 as a web aggregator and comparison website for insurance products. The platform also lists products from all major insurance companies in India and helps the users decide the policy. PolicyBazaar ventured into financial advisory and digital lending space with PaisaBazaar in 2014.
The company’s investors include global investment firms such as Inventus Capital, Wellington Management, PremjiInvest, Tiger Global and SoftBank. In June 2018, PolicyBazaar raised over $200 Mn in a Series F round led my SoftBank Vision Fund. According to media reports, the investment rose the companies valuation to over a billion dollar, marking its entry into the unicorn club.
For FY 2018, PolicyBazaar recorded a 225% growth in its revenue with $21.67 Mn (INR 159.4 Cr), compared to $6.67 Mn (INR 49.1 Cr) in FY17. The company’s operational revenues contributed 99.3% of total revenues, accounting for $21.52 Mn (INR 158.3 Cr). The financials for FY19 have not been revealed yet.
In 2017, PolicyBazaar, along with PaisaBazaar started exploring the prospects of going public by 2018. The company planned on raising its value from $500 Mn in 2017 to $1.5 Bn through the initial public offering (IPO).
According to DataLabs By Inc42’s “Fintech Outlook 2019: Addressing the Unbanked Indian” report, fintech startup ecosystem in India has witnessed a serious transformation from 2014 to 2018. The total funding in this period has increased 8.67x from $164 Mn in 2014 to $1.42 Bn in 2018. In the same period, the number of funded startups increased 3.43x from 30 to 103.