Canadian Billionaire Prem Watsa backs Insurance startup DIGIT

Fairfax

Canada-based billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings has backed general insurance startup, DIGIT. Watsa has partnered with Kamesh Goyal, a former Allianz executive who led the German insurer’s business in India.

The insurance company has built a team of experienced executives from insurance and ecommerce industries.

The team includes   Vijay Kumar, V Philip and Jasleen Kohli who were in the top management of Bajaj Allianz; from Ecommerce background are Sandeep Komaravelly, who was part of Snapdeal’s startup team, and Sriram Shankar, who was vice president (customer experience) at Myntra. The chief technology officer also has an e-commerce background.

As per the company statement, the insurance startup plans to launch within the next 6-12 weeks, subject to final approvals from IRDAI. “We want to bring about a change in insurance. The differentiation is from the point of view of making the entire experience for the customer seamless,” Sandeep Komaravelly said.

Digit will be triggered with a paid-up capital of Rs 385 crore, and Fairfax will own around 40 per cent stake in the startup and rest will be diluted into some angel investors. Kamesh Goyal will be the chairman of the company, as quoted by TOI.

It can be presumed now that Fairfax’s last month decision to sell 12.18% stake of ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd for about $383 million was to be a part of a plan to float a new insurance joint venture.

Few days back another Insurance startup Coverfox, based out of Mumbai has secured $15 million from Transamerica Ventures and some previous investors – Accel Partners and SAIF Partners. Last month, Acko General Insurance had secured $30 million.

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