Mumbai-based insurance tech startup Turtlemint said Tuesday it has raised USD 30 million in a fresh funding round led by California-headquartered GGV Capital. American Family Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wisconsin-based insurance firm American Family Insurance, MassMutual Ventures, and SIG also participated in the round along with Turtlemint’s existing investors such as Blume Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Dream Incubator, and Trifecta Capital.
In 2019, the startup had raised USD 25 million in a funding round led by Sequoia India. The five-year-old firm has raised USD 55 million to date.
Turtlemint runs a digital insurance brokerage platform where users can compare and buy insurance plans for cars, two-wheelers, health, and life from over 40 insurance companies. The startup charges insurance firms a commission when users buy an insurance plan from its platform. It claims to have amassed about 1.5 million customers.
What makes the startup attractive to investors is its approach to expand its reach beyond metros. It works with more than 100,000 on-ground financial advisors who use its digital tools to recommend different insurance policies to consumers. The company gives a special focus to tier 2 and 3 towns, where insurance companies have failed to penetrate due to a lack of awareness about different products. Turtlemint also arms these advisors with proper training as well as digital tools to increase their reach to potential customers in smaller cities.
To this effect, the company has built an online education platform catered to these advisors offering them content on financial products, advice-based sales techniques, and other soft skills in seven regional languages, Turtlemint co-founder Anand Prabhudesai said in a statement. He said Turtlemint has over 20,000 active learners per month, and that the company aims to create a million financial entrepreneurs over the next three to five years.
“By developing products for the micro-entrepreneurs and the rising middle class, Turtlemint has an opportunity to have a positive impact on India’s economy,” Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital, said in a media statement.
The startup plans to use the fresh funds to grow its network of financial advisors, improve its technology stack to enhance the consumer experience, increase its engineering staff, and scale operations in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
According to a recent report by India Brand Equity Foundation, the insurance industry in India is expected to reach USD 280 billion by 2020. A Techcrunch report said Goldman Sachs estimates the online insurance market in India to be worth USD 3 billion, thus leaving a huge ground for insurance tech startups to expand.
The healthcare pandemic has accelerated the change in consumer behavior, which is seeing an increase in the adoption of digital purchases. This has given a leg up to online insurance tech companies, that are seeing an increased action and interest from the VC community. For instance, in September, Bengaluru-based Acko raised USD 60 million in its Series D round led by Munich Re Ventures, the investment arm of Germany-based Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers.
Several bigwigs including Paytm, Amazon, and Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal-backed Navi Technologies have been eyeing a bigger pie of the market, which is currently dominated by firms like Policybazaar, Coverfox, and Acko.