General Atlantic is in talks to invest about $50 million in Acko, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, doubling down on its bet on the Indian insurtech at a time when most investors are treading investment opportunities carefully.

The New York-headquartered growth equity investor is positioning to lead a new financing round of about $100 million in the Indian startup, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the details are private. The new round — which is shaping up to be nearly entirely financed by existing backers — is likely to move ahead at a nearly flat valuation of $1.2 billion to $1.25 billion, one of the sources said.

Acko — which counts Lightspeed Venture Partners India, CPPIB, Amazon and Multiples Private Equity among existing backers — is among a handful of startups that is attempting to take on the country’s antiquated insurance industry with a digital-first product. It develops and sells bite-sized auto insurance products (aimed at drivers and others in transportation-related scenarios), healthcare protections to employers, as well as protection on gadgets.

The startup has distribution partners with a number of firms including Amazon, which is an existing investor in Acko, as well as travel and hotel booking platform MakeMyTrip, ride-hailing firm Ola, insurance giant Bajaj Finance and Urban Company.

Acko said last year that it covers nearly a million gig workers in the country through partnerships with companies including food delivery giants Swiggy and Zomato.

Offering a large catalog of bite-sized insurance policies is crucial for firms in India. Only a fraction of the nation’s 1.3 billion people currently have access to insurance and most can’t afford sizable policies. According to rating agency ICRA, insurance products had reached less than 3% of the population as of 2017. An average Indian makes about $2,100 a year, according to the World Bank. ICRA estimated that of those Indians who had purchased an insurance product, they were spending less than $50 on it in 2017.

Its new funding deliberations come at a time when the dealflow activity has taken a severe hit in the South Asian market as investors grow cautious of writing new checks and evaluate their underwriting models after valuations of publicly listed firms take a tumble.

General Atlantic eyes increasing stake in Amazon-backed insurtech Acko by Manish Singh originally published on TechCrunch