Rediff.com had invested in Fintact, an online insurance aggregation startup last year in December, reports Alootechie. While Kaushik Mukherjee (COO) and founder of Fintact told MediaNama that Rediff has invested in the company, he added that the amount of investment mentioned in the report – Rs. 25 lakh – is incorrect. However, Mukherjee declined to share any specific details related to the investment – the amount invested, the stake sold or the time that the investment was made. He said Fintact and Rediff would have something to announce next month. We couldn’t locate details of investments in Fintact from Rediff’s SEC filings, and are awaiting a response from Rediff.
According to Fintact’s website, it is a Rediff backed venture, headquartered in Hyderabad, servicing Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune. It operates on a lead generation model, though claims to better match customer requirements with agents, and seek explicit permission before connecting customers with insurance agents.
Mukherjee confirmed that Rediff was also in talks for investment in another online insurance startup Zibika (Alootechie had reported this), while he and Fintact co-founder Arun Balakrishnan (CEO) were at the company. A note from Zibika CEO Vivek Doraiswami informs its visitors that Zibika is offline on an indefinite basis, on account of financial issues, while suggesting that it is open to investment. So it appears that Rediff’s talks with Zibika did not work out, and they decided to invest in Fintact instead, founded by two Zibika employees.
Note that Info Edge (India), which owns Naukri.com, has picked up 49% stake in eTechAces, which owns and operates a competing insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar.com, for Rs. 20 crore. Sequoia Capital, alongwith JAFCO Asia has also invested in ApnaInsurance.
At the end of the 2009-10 fiscal, Rediff had $44.7 million in cash reserves. So far, it has invested in the following companies:
– Quillpad/Tachyon: Rediff owns 26% in this Indic language transliteration business
– Vakow: investment of $125,000 in this SMS based Twitter clone was written off
– Examville: Rediff owns 26% in this online exam preparation startup
– Eterno Infotech: a minority stake in mobile applications business, which also powers Rediff’s mobile app
– Imere: Location based services startup
– Fintact: Online Insurance Aggregator