General Category > Fairfax Financial



Some links regarding Digit (formerly Oben),  Fairfax's (45% holding)  insurance start up in India

(June 2017) "The company, which has already received preliminary approvals from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), will start with a paid-up capital of Rs 385 crore ($US60m). Fairfax Holdings will control 45% of the firm while the balance will be held by Indian investors led by Goyal, who will be chairman of the bank.....

....Speaking to Times of India (TOI), Komaravelly said that the plan is 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," he said. "We are based out of Bengaluru because it has the right culture for startups and also we will be using technology extensively."

(March 2017) IRDAI wants reduction of stakes by Fairfax in ICICI Lombard before the regulator considers the second level of approvals — known as R2 — for the new joint venture Oben Insurance. The second stage approvals for Oben Insurance, according to sources, is at least three months away when IRDAI board will meet.

"A Fairfax backed company, started by Kamesh Goyal, Digit is here ‘To Make Insurance Simple’. With that as our mission, we are reimagining products and redesigning processes. We are going back to the basics and building simple and transparent insurance solutions, that matter to people. We call our employees, ‘Simplifiers’ because that is their ultimate goal here. Our Chief Simplifiers are from insurance, tech and e-commerce, helping us shape this digital-first company. "

"After 30 years in the industry, living and breathing insurance, I feel time is ripe to change the status quo. The Insurance industry has seen lots of changes in the last fifteen years in India. Most of the changes are related to making companies more efficient and processes better. However, unlike other sectors we have not seen Insurance companies redefining the customer experience."

An article on another Indian  insurtech company, Acko,  that is also pursuing an R2 license



ICICI Lombard OK withinvestor backing rival co

Mumbai: ICICI Lombard is beefing up its digital platform to consolidate its position as the country's largest private non-life insurer even as partner Fairfax Financial Holdings prepares to pick up 49% stake in a rival non-life startup Digit. However, the private insurer does not see any conflict in Fairfax being the biggest shareholder by retaining close to 10% stake in ICICI Lombard.

Speaking to TOI, ICICI Lombard MD & CEO Bhargav Dasgupta said that the settlement with Fairfax has been amicable. "They are extremely bullish on general insurance — their core business — and they are very bullish on India. Fairfax was very keen to hold 49% in their India business," Dasgupta said.
However, this was not possible as ICICI Bank's stated objective was to list its insurance subsidiaries. "Since they had to obviously dilute because of the IPO, it made sense for them to invest in a business where they could hold 49%," he added.

ICICI Lombard has been the first general insurer to file for an IPO through which Fairfax and ICICI Bank are diluting their shareholding by 12% and 7% respectively. "The company has 8.5% share of the Rs 1.28-lakh-crore non-life industry and has been growing at a compounded annual rate of 26.7% from FY15 to FY17" said Dasgupta. The non-life venture is valued by analysts at around Rs 30,000 crore. Going by current valuations the IPO is likely to raise Rs 5,700 crore.

Final approvals received for the new insurance venture in India

"A day after the Rs 5,600 crore initial public offer (IPO) of ICICI Lombard General Insurance sailed through successfully, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has granted the final approval to the new general insurance company Go Digit General Insurance floated by India-born Prem Watsa, who controls Fairfax, the parent firm of Lombard."

Faering, A91 lead funding round in insurance distributor Go Digit

The equity funding round, which was also led by TVS Capital, values the three-year-old firm at $800 mn.

Digit is also backed by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings, which has invested $140 million across rounds.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version