Policybazaar is an online financial services platform that was started in 2008 by Yashish Dahiya and Alok Bansal. Policbazaar.com specializes in helping customers make purchase decisions with analysis of financial products based on price, quality and other key features. Yashish is an IIT Delhi alumni who went on to do a PGDM from IIM-A and then an MBA from INSEAD. He’s had an illustrious career, working with both corporates and startups (co-founded First Europa).
The idea for Policybazaar has its seed in an incident Yashish noticed. “I was going through some of the financials with my father and few things looked dubious. On deeper inspection, my father had been cheated of a few lakh rupees by insurance agents. The transactions looked clean on the face of it but the reality emerged when I looked in closely. This got me thinking about how people are getting duped,” says Yashish and hence came into being Policybazaar.
The co-founders then got together and worked towards building Policybazaar as a platform that'll help users make informed decisions while buying insurance. The co-founders have had a glittering track record and apart from the business model, Yashish attributes their experience to be one of the factors for them to have been able to raise capital and get the business off the ground quickly.
Policybazaar raised INR 40 crores in April 2013 in a funding round led by Inventus Capital Partners along with existing investors Info Edge and Intel Capital. Headquartered in Gurgaon, Policybazaar has an office in Mumbai as well and has a total team size of 1000+. The product/technology team is 110 people strong and Yashish believes the team to be a very strong proponent for what they’ve been able to build. “Fund raising also depends a lot on the kind of initial team you’ve been able to build,” says Yashish.
Policybazaar has become the largest online aggregator of policies in India and boasts of 20 million unique visitors annually. Policybazaar sells more than 17,000 policies each month and close to 600k people search the site which gives a conversion rate of about 3%. “We’re generating INR 5 crores in revenues each month,” says Yashish. Simple maths gives an average ticket size of INR 3000.
The target audience for Policybazaar lies in an age bracket which is slightly older to what usually you’d expect an internet company to have. Most of the buyers are in the 30-45 age bracket and good SEO alongwith relevant content is what Policybazaar relies on for traffic. Going back to the conversion rates, Yashish believes that they’re just scratching the surface still. “97% of the people come to the site, search for the product but then buy it offline from agents,” says Yashish about the potential of the business.
Scale is the only thing in mind for the company at this stage. There is competition arising but with such a huge population in India about to go online, the space is poised for growth. Dahiya also has plans for an IPO a few years down the line for which the focus is on getting more and more people in India to buy policies online.