Mumbai, June 28 2020: The recently launched Bima Mandi is an attempt to digitise and provide access to financial services for those living in rural areas.
The brainchild of entrepreneur Prashant Karulkar and seasoned finance veteran Anil Sachidanand, will address the problem of low insurance penetration in rural India.The neutral digital platform will distribute existing rural insurance products in the GI and Non-GI space. It will also bundle new pocket insurance products, depending on the size and audience in the chosen rural markets.
To put together funds for this unique venture, promoters and founding team members for Bima Mandi have subscribed to the initial capital needs. Beyond this, marquee retail investors would subscribe to the pre-series capital, at an undisclosed million dollar valuation. The retail investor list includes high net-worth individuals (HNIs) like industrialists and professionals from lending, insurance, infra, tech startup, health and pharma space, business people and early-stage backers/investors.
“Our InsurTech is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on the rural market. It aims to address savings and financial protection needs of the rural populace”, said Karulkar, Director, Bima Mandi. Anil Sachidanand, the co-mentor for Bima Mandi, said, “Bima Mandi will leverage ongoing digital village programs, village improvement program and AtmaNirbhar India program. It will work closely with government agencies, to ensure last-mile connectivity with its targeted rural markets.”|
Insurance itself, has a low penetration rate of 3.7% in India, with enormous scope for growth. Still, InsurTech platforms have been developing steadily for the last few years, with companies like Acko, Godigit and Policybazaar turning into unicorns with billion-dollar valuations. The current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for insurance and financial protection in both urban and rural regions.
Bima Mandi wants to leverage the current need for financial services. It has set a target to serve a cumulative set of more than 4 million rural customers across 125+ districts and 1000+ villages. Their goals will also include more than 50 million unique visits on its platform.