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保险创企Coverfox获国际金融公司投资

近日,印度保险数字化创企Coverfox宣布完成总额2200万美元的C轮融资。本次融资由国际金融公司和美国保险公司Transamerica领投,现有投资人SAIF Partners、Accel和Catamaran Ventures(来自Infosys联合创始人Narayana Murthy的基金)跟投。据了解,本次融资先后经过两个阶段才最终完成。

Coverfox成立于2013年,总部位于印度孟买,是印度为数不多的几家保险科技创企。截至目前,Coverfox共累计融资3900万美元,与35个合作伙伴达成合作协议,共为消费者提供150多种产品套餐,同时覆盖健康、汽车、自行车、寿险和旅游保险等多个领域。

据了解,Coverfox在过去一年营收增长了四倍。而本次融资结束后,Coverfox计划将增长率翻倍,并进一步进军印度二三线城市。据Coverfox统计,印度二三线城市(尤其是农村地区)的保险覆盖率比一般大城市低35%,而女性保险覆盖率比男性低40%。

Coverfox目前还没有海外扩张计划,但是公司表示入驻印度市场本身的投资空间就很巨大。除直接扩张之外,Coverfox还可以通过合作或特许经营进入新的市场。

Coverfox, one of a handful of companies aiming to digitize insurance in India, has landed fresh funding via a $22 million Series C round that will be used to push into more rural parts of the country.

The investment is led by IFC, a sister organization of World Bank, and U.S. insurance firm Transamerica, with participation from existing investors SAIF Partners, Accel and Catamaran Ventures, the fund from Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. The company confirmed the round was actually closed in two phases, which explains why media reports around the Transamerica investment surfaced last June.

Based in Mumbai, Coverfox is a digital platform that aggregates insurance options. Currently, it works with 35 partners to offer some 150-plus packages that span health, car, bike, life and travel insurance policies in India.

Today’s announcement takes Coverfox, which was founded in 2013, to $39 million raised from investors.

Many of those same Coverfox backers have also funded digital insurance firm Acko,  which was started by Coverfox co-founder Varun Dua last year. Acko and Dua made headlines when, nearly a year ago, the startup announced a $30 million seed investment round that came in before a product had even hit the market.

Acko got its license from the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in September to go into business, and it again attracted headlines for its relationship with Amazon. The e-commerce firm was said to be in talks to invest (no deal has been announced) while Dua himself said the company was planning to develop products for the e-commerce giant, and potentially others of that scale too.

To date, though, Coverfox isn’t working with Acko, according to its CEO Premanshu Singh.

“We don’t work with Acko at all, and we don’t plan to work for next three to six months at least,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch, explaining that the company is going after larger insurance providers initially.

He also dismissed the potential for consolidation between the two despite the common investor base.

“Both entities are very different, with separate teams and different office locations. We can’t visualize anything strategic coming up,” Singh added.

Coverfox itself said it has seen “impressive momentum and scale” lately, which Singh clarified as four-fold revenue growth over the past year, although he declined to give specific figures. The company plans to double down on growth and use the new money to expand into India’s tier-two and tier-three cities, where it said that insurance coverage is 35 percent lower than in urban areas, while coverage among women is lower still at 40 percent below that of men.

The company also plans to put additional capital behind its Coverdrive app for Android, which is designed to equip insurance sales staff, who previously worked almost entirely offline, with digital-first materials to help grow their business using the Coverfox platform.

Coverdrive is a smart addition because it helps the company tackle the long tail of rural India without initial investment upfront. Instead, insurers use its service to boost their own business, thereby growing Coverfox sales at the same time.

Singh said Coverdrive accounts for around one-quarter of Coverfox sales. But that isn’t its only focus in tier-two and tier-three markets, where the company will roll out its own staff and focus on listing related policies.

Citing the growth of mobile data usage in rural India and a growth in digital as internet banking chips away at the bank assurance model used by most insurance brands, Singh said that rural India is better positioned for expansion than in previous years.

Coverfox isn’t yet looking at overseas options despite Singh explaining that there has been a considerable volume of inbound requests.

“It’s going to happen for sure [but] we haven’t decided where to go first,” he said.

Likewise, the model isn’t decided on either. Beyond a straight-up expansion, Coverfox could move into new markets via partnership or franchise.

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