Insurance startup Acko raises $65M funding from Binny Bansal and others

Online insurance aggregator Acko raised $65 million in its Series C round from Binny Bansal, Co-founder and former CEO of Flipkart, RPS Ventures …

Onlineinsurance aggregator Acko raised $65 million in its Series C round from Binny Bansal, Co-founder and former CEO of Flipkart, RPS Ventures led by SoftBank’s former managing partner Kabir Misra, and Intact Ventures, corporate venture arm of Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer.

The round also saw participation from existing investors including Amazon, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners and TechPro Ventures.

Varun Dua Acko

Varun Dua, Founder of Acko General Insurance

Binny Bansal has reportedly invested $25 million in Acko through this round. With this latest round of Series C funding, Acko’s total funds raised stands at $107 million. Avendus Capital was the advisor to Acko on this fundraise. 

Last May, the insurtech startup had raised $12 million as a part of its Series A funding led by Amazon. Prior to that, it raised one of the highest seed funding in the Indian startup ecosystem – $30 million – in May 2017.   

Founded by Varun Dua in 2016, Acko General Insurance provides relevant insurance products, catering to the needs of the digitally-savvy consumer. The company uses a direct-to-consumer approach for distributing motor insurance, allowing for favourable risk selection and superior underwriting. 


Also read: Online Insurance startup Acko raises $12 M led by Amazon


Acko also offers innovative and bite-sized insurance products such as rider insurance, mobile and appliance protection, ticket cancellation, etc., and has partnered with more than 15 consumer internet players including Ola, Amazon, redBus, Zomato and UrbanClap. The company claims to have distributed insurance policies to over 20 million unique customers after 12 months of starting operations.

 

Speaking on the investment, Founder and CEO Varun Dua said,

 

“The current round of funding demonstrates the confidence investors have in us and in our ability to transform how insurance will be delivered. We are excited to put the company on a rapid growth trajectory with this round of funding.”

He added that as the company grows, it will be raising more capital in compliance with the guidelines of the regulator.

Binny Bansal said,

“Technology led insurance is expected to play a significant role in growth of the underpenetrated insurance sector in India.”  

This year, the Flipkart Co-founder invested in two other startups – AI-based healthcare venture Niramai Health Analytix and learning-based platform, Crio. 

Kabir Misra, Managing Partner at RPS Ventures, said,

 “We have strong conviction on the ensuing insurtech wave and more specifically, in India, which is hugely under penetrated and suffers from multiple gaps. We are excited to support Acko, which is transforming insurance through technology and data-based underwriting and a unique customer-centric approach.”

The company is also backed by Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, Swiss Re, Transamerica Ventures, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder of Infosys, Atul Nishar, Founder and Chairman of Hexaware Technologies, Ashish Dhawan of ChrysCapital, Hemendra Kothari of DSP Blackrock, Rajeev Gupta, veteran investment banker and Founder of Arpwood Capital, as well as Subba Rao of NuVentures and Venk Krishnan.


Also read: [Podcast] From IIT-Delhi to building Flipkart, how Binny Bansal became the poster boy of the Indian startup ecosystem and what he’s up to now

Why Binny Bansal chose to launch tech startup xto10x Technologies for his second innings

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Fintech and Blockchain Pioneers Team Up to Bring DLT Security to Voice Banking

… (ConnectFSS) and CULedger announced a collaborative partnership today to bring distributed ledger technology (DLT) to BIG’s FIVE Voice Banking …

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Best Innovation Group (BIG), Connect Financial Software Solutions (ConnectFSS) and CULedger announced a collaborative partnership today to bring distributed ledger technology (DLT) to BIG’s FIVE Voice Banking Platform.

When ConnectFSS began implementing the FIVE Voice Banking Platform for clients, president Grant Parry saw an opportunity to combine FIVE with work being done on CULedger’s MyCUID digital credential solution. Now, the consortium is working on a new way for members to authenticate during their voice banking transactions, utilizing the security benefits offered by MyCUID’s DLT-based self-sovereign identity platform.

“Voice banking uses devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home to enable members to transact with their financial institutions in a conversational way,” explains John Best, founder and CEO at BIG. “A significant value add when using voice-first interactions for banking is the channel’s inherent ability to reduce the friction that people experience in other channels. The environment should be as secure as possible, but we don’t want to reintroduce a lot of friction into this touchless interface in the process, and today’s security paradigms did not meet our needs.”

“CULedger, Connect FSS and Best Innovation Group have partnered to provide a revolutionary new security solution to the voice banking channel,” said CULedger’s president and CEO, John Ainsworth. “Through our partnership, FIVE’s users are among the first to leverage CULedger’s member-owned, self-sovereign identity capabilities.”

Connect’s clients who implement the FIVE Voice Banking Platform will be the first to have access to this brand new solution. Members will create, store and manage their identity information in the MyCUID solution, which can then be referenced by any service at the credit union that needs to authenticate them. All access to that data is completely controlled by the member themselves.

“Whenever you have an opportunity to increase security while also removing friction from the member experience, it’s a win for all parties involved,” said Connect FSS President, Grant Parry. “This collaboration brings credit unions a better way to identify their members – and the voice channel is a great place to start. We see the MyCUID solution as solving the digital identity problem across all delivery channels and we are excited to play a part in bringing the solution to the market.”

The solution, being announced during this month’s CUNA Government Affairs conference in Washington D.C., will begin a limited production pilot this summer. A preview of the prototype is available here: https://youtu.be/PhPuz42TFZI.

About CULedger

Denver-based CULedger is a credit union-owned CUSO that focuses on delivering innovative applications to credit unions through its cross-border global distributed ledger platform. In working through a national consortium made up of credit unions and trusted industry investors, CULedger has pioneered new developments related to global self-sovereign digital identity that will further enhance the trust credit unions have with their members. CULedger provides advantages to credit unions and their members by reducing risks associated with cybersecurity and fraud, improving member experience, streamlining internal processes and reducing administrative and operational costs. To learn more about CULedger, visit www.culedger.com.

About Best Innovation Group

Founded in 2014, Best Innovation Group (BIG) was created to provide clients with the resources to quickly implement digital solutions and adopt cutting-edge technologies. BIG provides research and development in areas including voice banking, distributed ledger, and machine learning, as well as a wide array of consulting services. For more information, visit: www.big-fintech.com.

About Connect Financial Software Solutions

Connect is a CUSO providing advanced enterprise digital banking services, including account access, advanced payments, account opening, custom lending workflows, electronic document management, card controls, and deep core system integration via several credit union core processors. Connect’s theming technology provides channel consistency for their credit union clients enabling them to differentiate their unique digital banking experience. For more information, visit www.connectfss.com.

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Billionaire Nelson Peltz Joins Aurora Cannabis as Strategic Adviser

… the lines of Constellation Brands Inc.’s investment in Canopy Growth Corp. or Altria Group Inc.’s deal with Cronos Group Inc. Constellation and Altria …

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50% Active Gamblers Trade In Cryptocurrencies

Recent research by Rutgers University finds that over 50% of people actively involved with Gambling are also into trading cryptocurrencies. The study …

Recent research by Rutgers University finds that over 50% of people actively involved with Gambling are also into trading cryptocurrencies. The study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors also finds that over 75% of traders and investors who trade in high-risk stocks also trade in digital currencies like the Bitcoins.

While digital currencies are taking over as they are becoming increasingly popular amongst young investors, for Casinos in the US to start accepting alternative currencies is not happening soon.

In an interview with Casino.org, Anthony Cabot, a Distinguished Fellow in Gaming Law at UNLV who formerly chaired the gaming law practice at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie said that we are not having cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins or other digital coins at the casino tables or in active gambling any time in near future. He also said that “licensed, land-based casinos will not “seriously consider” using cryptocurrency until they become more “mainstream.”

While the blockchain technology has created ripples in the fintech world by redefining the concepts of value storage and fund transfer processes and though many active gamblers trade in cryptocurrencies for alternative currencies like Bitcoin there is still a long way to go before they replace fiat currencies on casino tables and even in online gambling.

However, there are also many different illegal online casinos that accept Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, but for the majority of it, accepting bitcoins or digital currencies remains illegal in most parts of the world where gambling is legal. For gamblers, the Digital currencies allow them multiple advantages over fist currencies, and the most important one is that they can make transactions and gamble with full anonymity. Perhaps that explains why the online gambling industry is taking a boom in the fastest emerging alternative currency markets in Asia.

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Uber Adds Several Banks to Lineup of IPO Underwriters

Uber Technologies Inc. has added several banks to the list of underwriters that will help manage its initial public offering, according to a person with …

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