Insurance startup nears coveted 'unicorn' status with new funding round

It will use the funds to expand in the Middle East and Southeast Asia

Insurance startup nears coveted 'unicorn' status with new funding round

Insurance News

By Mary Or

Mumbai-based Turtlemint has reached Series E funding and raised $120m, giving the start-up a “slightly less than unicorn valuation” according to co-founder Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, referring to the tech industry’s term for startups valued at $1bn or more. Turtlemint will use the funds to expand to new geographies – particularly the Middle East and Southeast Asia – and invest in its distribution, underwriting, and claims technology.

The Series E round was led by Amansa Capital, Jungle Ventures, and Nexus Venture Partners, with early Turtlemint investors also participating. The continued interest and investment in Turtlemint mark a race among technology-driven companies to sell insurance policies in an under-penetrated market, Bloomberg reported.

While rivals such as Paytm and Policybazaar sell insurance directly to customers, Turtlemint offers online training to insurance agents in smaller cities and towns, helping them sell coverage to consumers. Nearly 75% of the startup’s business comes from outside the country’s 30 biggest cities. It offers its service in six major Indian languages, including Hindi, Kannada and Tamil.

Mahyavanshi, a 10-year veteran of the insurance industry, co-founded the startup in 2015 with Anand Prabhudesai. Turtlemint has tapped more than 160,000 insurance advisers, helping it scale fast without significant spending. It now sells about 12,000 policies daily, including health, life, vehicle, and personal accident policies. It also offers insurance training and selling platforms to banks and insurers as subscription software.

Turtlemint has reached an annual revenue run rate of $380m, Mahyavanshi told Bloomberg.

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