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Tencent picks up minority stake in India’s PolicyBazaar

PolicybazaarChinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. has acquired a minority stake in valuing the online insurance platform at $1.5 billion, business newspaper Economic Times reported citing person familiar with the deal.

Tencent has picked up a 10 percent stake in PolicyBazaar, which is half of Tiger Global Management LLC’s stake in the startup, the person said, adding that the $150 million deal was signed earlier this week.

The startup will use the investment to enter newer segments in financial services, according to media reports. These will be a mix of B2B and B2C businesses.

Tencent, the owner of WeChat messenger app, has been aggressively investing in Indian startups. It has invested in companies including ride-hailing service Ola, education platform Byju’s and food delivery platform Swiggy. It has also invested in another digital banking services startup NiYo Solutions earlier this year.

Gurgaon-headquartered PolicyBazaar is operated by ETech Aces Marketing and Consulting Pvt. Founded in 2008 by Alok Bansal, Avaneesh Nirjar and Yashish Dahiya, PolicyBazaar Group has two entities: PolicyBazaar and PaisaBazaar. The company was founded in 2008 as a web aggregator and comparison website for insurance products. The platform also lists products from all major insurance companies in India and helps the users decide the policy. PolicyBazaar ventured into financial advisory and digital lending space with PaisaBazaar in 2014.

The company’s major investors include global investment firms such as Inventus Capital, Wellington Management, PremjiInvest, Tiger Global and SoftBank. In June 2018, PolicyBazaar raised over $200 million in a Series F round led by SoftBank Vision Fund.

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