Despite the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting businesses across sectors, education-technology startups in India have been ruling the roost in raising funds from global investors since early this year. Barring the favourites in the edtech space such as BYJU’S, Unacademy, and Vedantu, not many outside the online-education business have raised big bucks during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
According to Venture Intelligence data released in June, during the first six months of 2020, edtech startups in India raised a total of $795 million (between January 1 and June 26) from venture capital investors, compared to $108 million during the corresponding period last year. But the number of funding deals among startups dropped by 31% during the first six months of this year recording only 272 transactions, the report noted.
However, digital general insurance startup Acko has managed to woo investors in a tough market. Acko on Wednesday said that it has raised $60 million in a funding round led by Munich Re Ventures, the venture capital arm of one of the world’s largest reinsurance firms, Munich Re.
Existing investors Amazon, RPS Ventures and Intact Ventures Inc. also participated in the funding round. Acko plans to utilise the funds to ramp up its existing business and expand into new product lines, the company said in a statement.
Started in 2016 by Varun Dua and Ruchi Deepak, Acko raised one of the highest seed funds in India—$30 million. Today, the digital-only insurance company has the backing of Amazon, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners, N.R. Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Hemendra Kothari of DSP Group, and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, among others.
Acko provides insurance services to its clients through its digital platform. It claims to have issued over 650 million policies to more than 60 million unique customers to date.
The company said that it addresses insurance needs through data-based personalised pricing and instant claim verification and settlement. It recently partnered with Amazon Pay to distribute two- and four-wheeler insurance. It also provides employee health plans with a combination of insurance, primary care, and wellness. Some of its key clients in the Internet space include Amazon, Ola, redBus, Zomato, and Urban Company. Recently the company announced its IPL partnership with Delhi Capitals.
“Munich Re has been a strategic partner to Acko since inception… their investment shows confidence in our data and technology-driven business model,” said Dua, founder and CEO, Acko. Dua was part of Fortune India’s 40 under 40 list last year.
San Francisco-based Munich Re Ventures, founded in 2015, has made 30 investments in insurance-tech and new technology companies globally. “As Munich Re Ventures’ first investment in India, we look forward to the positive impact that digitally native insurance solutions will have on the country with Acko leading the way,” said Oshri Kaplan, director, Munich Re Ventures.
Amazon continues to back Acko with a follow-on investment in this round, the company said.