Amazon

Amazon Invests In Insurance Startup

Amazon has led a new round of funding in Acko, a digital insurance startup in India. According to Business Insider India, the eCommerce giant led the $12 million funding round for Acko with Ashish Dhawan, founder of PE firm ChrysCapital, and current backer Catamaran Ventures. Acko has now raised $42 million to date.

Founded in 2016 by Varun Dua  co-founder of insurance comparison site Coverfox  Acko offers car, bike and mobile insurance. The company’s main competition is PolicyBachat, PolicyBazaar, Easypolicy and PolicyX.com. Right now, they’re all generating more revenue than Acko. However, Acko did get $30 million from investors last year before it had even acquired a license to offer insurance.

In addition, last April, Acko launched passenger insurance for Uber-rival Ola, which covers riders for everything from minor accidents to missing a flight due to traffic delays. The insurance claim system is built into the Ola app so that it is easy for customers to use, and Acko says it has covered more than 10 million Ola trips so far.

“We know from user behavior experience that passengers tend to contact Ola when they have issues, so we wanted to set up a pretty seamless claims process that’s reasonable integrated,” Dua told TechCrunch in an interview.

The company will most likely work with Amazon on eCommerce coverage, with the first focus being gadget protection, although nothing has been officially decided upon yet.

“The idea is to find some way to collaborate in the future,” Dua explained. “We’re a new age insurance company and [Amazon] believes it can create value. They see that bundling financial service or something in the lending space [may] happen [in the future] given the data and numbers of users they sit on.”

Amazon’s partnership with Acko comes after it lost the chance to gain a majority stake in India’s eCommerce power player Flipkart. That prize went to Walmart with a $15 billion bid on the firm, giving the retailer a majority stake in the firm, roughly 75 percent of the entire Flipkart group.

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