Exclusive: Insurtech Startup Nova Benefits In Talks To Raise $5mn In Series A Round
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Bangalore-based insurtech startup Nova Benefits is in talks to raise $5 million in its Series A round in the coming months. The startup is in talks with several venture capital firms such as Elevation Capital, Accel, Matrix Partners, Iron Pillar, RTP Global, Chiratae Ventures and Pravega Ventures.
Founded just before the onset of the pandemic in 2020 by Saransh Garg and Yash Gupta, the startup impressed serial investor Vaibhav Domkundwar of Better Capital after an hour-long pitch in April of 2021 to bag their seed investment round worth $1 million. In the round, Raveen Sastry (Multiply Ventures) and Kunal Bahl (Titan Capital), Sumit Maniyar of Rupeek and Ashish Goyal of Early Salary also participated.
As per Garg, the upcoming round of investment will be utilized to scale the engineering and business development efforts. After graduating from IIT-Bombay at a time that can be best described as the watershed moment for the Indian startup community, Garg realized he had to dive into the ecosystem. To understand better, Garg joined Accel, a venture capital firm to understand the nitty-gritty of a startup only to found his first startup in San Francisco, Prodigal. However, due to some personal reason when he stepped down from the company to return to India, he met Gupta, an IIT-Delhi graduate and both realized that the corporate health insurance in the country is broken.
He said that the experience of claiming insurance in the country is a tough and a broken process. To address this, Garg and Gupta founded Nova Benefits. The startup claims to help businesses purchase and administer employee-friendly health insurance policies. Beyond health insurance, the startup also helps companies offer wellness benefits such as free doctor teleconsultation, health checkups, mental health counseling, and more.
Garg said his startup is delivering better claims experience by appointing claim advisors, enhancing claims tracking, and digitizing paperwork. To reduce the manual work of human resource professionals, the startup’s platform smoothly integrates with human resource management systems like Darwin Box, Greytip, Keka, ZohoHR, among others.
While the startup is yet to monetize its product and still offering consultation and platform for free to different companies, Garg plans to monetize through value-added services.
“The metric we're tracking our growth on internally is the number of members on our platform. We have scaled to 30K members in six months. When we monetize we expect to be making $10 ARPU (average revenue per user),” he added.
Garg boasts that in the past six months the company has scaled its platform by serving more than 100 clients and 30,000 members. Some of the popular clients of the startups are Snapdeal, ObserveAI, Samunnati, Varthana, Yulu Bikes, and Fisdom among others.The startup further aims to serve 10 million members on its platform in the next few years. Garg believes what demonetization was for digital payment enablers, the pandemic is for insurance providers/ aggregators. He said that the pandemic has resulted in a pivotal shift in people's minds.
“Everyone has gone back and read their health insurance policies to know if Covid is covered. Companies are spending more than before on their health insurance policies as well,” he added.