Policybazaar parent to foray into healthcare tech & services segment

ETech Aces Marketing and Consulting, which owns and operates online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar and lending marketplace PaisaBazaar, is entering the healthcare technology and services segment, that is likely to see the Tiger Global backed company directly compete with the likes of Tencent-backed Practo and Sequoia Capital-backed 1mg Technologies.
 
The Gurgaon-based company, which was valued at $500 million post the closure of its last round of funding in October 2017, has earmarked about $100 million towards the new venture, according to a senior executive of the firm.
 
“Indian healthcare system has a $100 billion out-of-pocket expense market, one that is not covered by health insurance. This market is expected to grow to $200 billion by fiscal 2020. We will enter into tie-ups with hospitals, and have PolicyBazaar advisors there, to help consumers at the moment of truth — which is claims,” Yashish Dahiya, the chief executive of PolicyBazaar, told ET.
 
The platform — which has a working name of PaisaWiki thus far — will also provide online access to top-rated medical consultants that will be part of an in-house team of doctors. The company expects to launch its first insurance product, catering to out-patient department (OPD) target market within the next six months.
 
The tie-ups with medical professionals, clinics, diagnostic centres and hospitals, and launching OPD-specific insurance products, will see PolicyBazaar take on Bengaluru-based Practo.
 
Practo was also recently reported to have partnered with ICICI Lombard General Insurance to offer OPD-dedicated insurance products.
 
“We aim to tie-up with about 300 hospitals by the end of the next financial year… These services will help us creating very powerful data on consumer healthcare habits, as well as design intelligent and customised products for in-patient department insurance,” Dahiya said.
 
The CEO also said that the upcoming business unit will look to sell medicines online, putting it in direct competition with the country’s existing group of online pharma stores, including 1mg Technologies, the acknowledged leader in the space.
 
Flush with funds, having closed its latest equity financing round about five months ago, and which was led by global asset management firm Wellington Management, domestic private equity firm True North and tech and consumer-focused venture capital firm IDG Ventures India, the company has already put together a team of about 20 people, led by Richit Unmat and Dhruv Sareen.
 
According to Dahiya, PolicyBazaar, which has raised about $165 million in funding till date, still has about $120 million in the bank. The company swung to a net profit of Rs12.9 crore for fiscal 2017, on revenue of Rs 213 crore, according to documents sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler.
 
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