E-commerce giant Amazon has led a $12 million (Rs 81.27 crore) funding round in Acko Technologies, which owns online general insurance provider Acko General Insurance, with Ashish Dhawan, founder of private equity firm ChrysCap also coming on board.
The latest round of equity financing comes about a year after Mumbai-based startup announced a $30 million seed round, which was led by Catamaran Ventures and Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys, DSP BlackRock’s Hemendra Kothari, Hexaware’s Atul Nishar and Arpwood’s Rajeev Gupta besides venture capital firms SAIF Partners and Accel India.
The investment by Amazon is also its first in India’s insurance services sector, and marks the Seattle-based giant’s first step into offering a slew of financial products to consumers, reiterating the broader potential web retailers see in the space. Amazon’s negotiations with Acko were first reported by The Times of India.
Earlier this year, Amazon had invested Rs 144 crore in online lending company Capital Float, having also picked up a minority stake in financial services marketplace BankBazaar in 2015.
Varun Dua, chief executive of Acko, told ET,
“We will be beefing up the technology. It’s heavily intensive, both, operationally and technology-wise to set up claims across the country…The other thing will be to scale up our marketing efforts and the business overall,”
Amit Agarwal, senior vice president and country manager at Amazon India, said in a statement,
“Acko is a young and nimble startup bringing technology and data-led innovation to the insurance sector to deliver a better insurance experience for customers,”
“We are excited to back companies that are focused on using technology for enhanced customer experience and are led by missionary founders and management teams.”
Acko’s model loosely resembles Lemonade and Oscar Health in the US and Direct Line in the UK. The company received its license to provide non-life insurance products to consumers from regulator IRDA in October last year.