News Corp has acquired BigDecisions.com, a Mumbai based startup that appears to generate leads for financial services companies, and provide consumers with educational information and calculation tools for making financial decisions. Currently, BigDecisions covers financial planning segments like Housing, Life Insurance, Health Insurance, Education, Retirement Planning and Refinance. It’s partners:
– Retirement Planning: FundsIndia.com
– Education: FundsIndia.com
– Insurance: Policybazaar
– Housing: None
– Health Insurance: Medimanage
– Life Insurance: Policybazaar
– Refinance: Paisabazaar.com
They are appearing rather low down in the value chain, at least when it comes to insurance, given that Insurance aggregators are their clients. Also read: Why you shouldn’t launch an Insurance Aggregator in India.
Given the content, the interface and the fact that the company apparently has very partners that it is generating leads for, as well as very few users “already helped some 40,000 users make better-informed decisions”, it seems that it has largely been acquired for its team and future plans. Its integration with external partners is clunky, to say the least, via a tab that opens up across the screen. :
BigDecisions was founded in early 2013 by Manish Shah and Gaurav Roy. Shah is “an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, spent a decade with Citigroup in India and the US, in a wide range of roles in the unsecured lending, wealth management and mortgage businesses. In his last role, he was head of new initiatives with AEGON Religare Life Insurance.” Roy is “an alumnus of IIT Bombay and XLRI Jamshedpur, with diverse experience across management consulting, financial services and technology. He has worked at Arthur Andersen, KPMG, Wipro, Bharti AXA, and AEGON Religare.” They will report to Raju Narisetti, Senior VP (Strategy) at News Corp.
The mandate for BigDecisions would probably be to expand their audience by expanding their portfolio of videos, spending News Corp money on marketing, so that they can expand their audience base and attract more buyers for their clients, apart from attracting more clients. “Big Decisions” is a broad enough name, so the option to expand beyond just financial services also exists.
News Corp in India
This is News Corp’s second recent investment in India, after it picked up 25% in PropTiger for $30 million, a month ago. News corp owns US-based Move Inc which operates the online real estate site Realtor.com. It also owns 61.6% stake in REA Group Limited which operates the Australian real estate portal realestate.com.au.
News Corp’s other operations in India include Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Factiva and HarperCollins Publishers businesses. 21st Century Fox, which was hived off when News Corp split last year, owns Star TV.