Paytm and Vijay Shekhar Sharma to acquire general insurer Raheja QBE
One97 Communications Ltd (OCL), which owns payments and financial services platform Paytm, along with Vijay Shekhar Sharma, is set to acquire Mumbai-based private sector general insurer Raheja QBE.
The acquisition is subject to customary conditions, including approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder of One97 Communications
This strategic acquisition is through QorQl Pvt Ltd, a technology company with majority shareholding of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and remaining held by Paytm.
Started in 2009, Raheja QBE is a joint venture between Prism Johnson Limited and QBE Insurance Group, one of Australia’s largest insurers. Prism Johnson owns 51 percent in Raheja QBE, and the remaining 49 percent is held by QBE Australia.
After the acquisition, Paytm is set to acquire both stakes, and will own 100 percent of the company. The company said that all employees of Raheja QBE will continue working at Mumbai and other locations.
The acquisition will also enable Paytm to innovate insurance products and services to accelerate its reach and adoption. In a statement, Paytm said, its mission is to drive financial inclusion for over half a billion Indians.
Amit Nayyar, President, Paytm, said, "It is an important milestone in Paytm’s financial services journey, and we are very excited to welcome Raheja QBE General Insurance into the Paytm family. Its strong management team will help us accelerate our journey of taking insurance to the large population of India with the aim to create a tech-driven, multi-channel general insurance company, with innovative and affordable insurance products.”
Commenting on the development, QBE Australia Pacific Chief Executive Officer, Vivek Bhatia, said, “Today’s announcement marks both the continuation of QBE’s strategy to simplify our business and the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for our strong team at Raheja QBE.”
In March, One97 Communications said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Paytm Insurance Broking Private Limited (PIBPL), secured a licence to sell life and non-life insurance from IRDAI. At that time, Paytm also surrendered its 'corporate agency’ licence to obtain the brokerage licence.
The company has tied up with around 20 of the leading insurance firms in India, and would integrate with 30 more companies over the next few weeks.