True North Fund sells part stake in Policybazaar, Buyers include Serum Institute

Private equity fund True North has sold a portion of its holding in India’s largest online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar to five independent buyers – vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), Triumph Global Holdings Pte, Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust Plc, IIFL Special Opportunities Fund Series 8 and India Acorn Fund.

The exact amount of the valuations were not disclosed in the official announcement.

Divya Sehgal, Partner, True North, said, “We’ve had a great partnership with PolicyBazaar over the last three years. We are extremely pleased with the company’s sustained growth momentum and efficiency in delivering great results despite the challenging market conditions. We will continue to support PolicyBazaar as it heads towards public markets in the next 12-15 months and scripts many more success stories.”

“In October 2020, True North had conducted the first tranche of its stake sale in the company. It continues to be invested in the company for its next phase of growth,” the statement read.

Yashish Dahiya, CEO, Policybazaar stated, “True North has been and continues to be a good friend, advisor and has supported us as an investor through the last few years. We are grateful for that, and glad to see them having a good partial exit, we welcome on board the new shareholders. True North continues to be an investor and we thank them for the confidence.”

Rising Sun Holdings, a company controlled in a personal capacity by SII’s Adar Poonawalla, announced the acquisition of a governing stake in NBFC Magma Fincorp for nearly Rs 3,450 crore on February 10, 2021. It intended to build a new combined entity called Poonawalla Finance.

Following the announcement of the deal, Adar Poonawalla told Money Control that “another aspect that attracted us to Magma Fincorp was the fact that they also have a housing finance and insurance business, so it’s a full package.”

Established in 1999, True North is a major domestic PE firm with a focus on investing in and converting mid-sized profitable businesses into large well-established businesses that are valuable, enduring, and socially responsible.

It has launched six different investment funds with a combined corpus of $3 billion including co-investments. The company’s website states that its existing diversified portfolio includes firms like Home First Housing Finance, DM Healthcare Fincare, Biocon Biologics, Meru, Zydus Wellness, & Shree Digvijay Cement.

Policybazaar is housed under Etech Aces Marketing & Consulting which also houses lending marketplace Paisabazaar. Besides True North, it has an extensive list of excellent investors on board, which includes Chiratae Ventures, Temasek, India’s first dotcom to list on the domestic bourses, Premji Invest, Info Edge (which backs Zomato, Naukri.com and 99acres.com), Steadview Capital, Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Inventus, Softbank, and Wellington Management.

Policybazaar’s listing plans come after a huge surge in the demand for online health and life insurance products following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers products in areas ranging from life insurance, health insurance, motor insurance, investment plans, general insurance, and travel insurance among others. The leading fintech player now caters to more than 8 million insurance buyers annually and hosts 40+ insurers on its platform.

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