Plum, a group health insurance startup aiming to provide accessible and affordable health insurance to millions of Indians, has raised a $15.6mn Series A led by Tiger Global with participation from earlier investors – Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, Tanglin Venture Partners, Incubate Fund and Gemba Capital.
Angel investors in this round include Kunal Shah (founder, Cred), Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh (founders of Unacademy), Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain and Ishan Bansal (founders of Groww), Ramakant Sharma & Anuj Srivastava (founders of Livspace), and Douglas Feirstein (founder of Hired). Plum has raised $5mn in earlier rounds last year.
Abhishek Poddar, Co-founder & CEO, Plum, said, “Plum aims to reach a milestone of 10mn lives insured by 2025, by changing the employee health insurance space. With Plum, we are making the process transparent, affordable and easy, using tech at scale. The adoption of health insurance by startups, SMEs and corporates is increasing exponentially, and is further accelerated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We are building Plum to enable a high quality healthcare experience for every single employee and their family members. ”
Scott Shleifer, Partner at Tiger Global, added, “As India’s healthcare insurance industry rapidly expands and transforms, Plum is well positioned to make comprehensive health insurance accessible to millions of Indians. We are excited to partner with Abhishek, Saurabh and the Plum team as they scale their leading tech-enabled platform to employers across the country.”
Plum is on a mission to accelerate adoption of health insurance in India by making it accessible, affordable and usable for employees. With over 600 organisations on-boarded, Plum has been witnessing a growth rate of 110% quarter-on-quarter and leads the industry with a Claims NPS of 79. Plum’s client base includes SMEs, corporates and fast-growing startups in India, including Groww, Unacademy, Twilio, CleverTap, UrbanLadder, smallcase and Simpl.
The funds raised will be used to further scale engineering, business development and operations teams. The company is building newer insurance products for SMEs who have teams as small as 7 employees and cannot afford to pay annual premiums. Plum is additionally looking at building deeper API integrations with leading insurers like ICICI Lombard, Care Health, Star Health and New India Assurance.
Healthcare in India is seeing a phenomenal change. Healthcare cost is seeing an inflation that is two times the general inflation. India is witnessing new and unexpected diseases every day – Covid-19 is a stark example of this. Treatments of these diseases can wipe out entire household savings. This is leading to increased awareness and penetration of health insurance, but not many Indians can afford it. Most need their employers to sponsor insurance.
The current health insurance stack isn't prepared to serve this market shift of rapid adoption of employee health insurance. When purchasing health insurance for their teams, even the best businesses experience challenges around:
- Accessibility - smaller companies cannot access high quality insurance plans. It takes them months to build and negotiate a plan.
- Affordability - health insurance is very expensive for smaller companies.
- Usability - employees of these companies are stuck when they actually have to use their insurance.
Plum is re-imagining the employee health insurance stack by forging new underwriting and fraud detection algorithms that allow companies with as few as 7 employees to benefit from group insurance. The platform’s real-time insurance design and pricing enables companies to buy insurance in just 3 clicks. It also offers employees a hassle-free claims experience through an integrated digital process.
Plum was founded in late 2019 by Abhishek Poddar and Saurabh Arora who come with vast experience in financial technologies and SME distribution. Abhishek, a Stanford University alumnus has worked with Google and McKinsey, and built technology companies. Saurabh led product and engineering teams at Freshworks, and had previously built Airwoot, an AI-based CRM company which was acquired by Freshworks.
The group health insurance market in India, which is almost 50% of the total $3.5bn health insurance market, has seen an annual growth of about 25% in the last few years and is doubling every three years. Group health insurance products cover about 90mn Indians, but are expected to cover more than 500mn Indians by the end of this decade.