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The parent company of online financial consultancy portals PolicyBazar and PaisaBazaar are in talks with investment bankers to launch an initial public offering (IPO) and raise $1.5 billion, according to media reports.
The company has met over 15 investment bankers with an opportunity to pitch for the IPO that could roll out next year, reported the Times of India.
PolicyBazaar Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yashish Dahiya did not confirm the $1.5 billion-valuation mentioned in the story. "The valuation of $1.5 billion is an estimate by some of the investment bankers for the time when we may actually launch the IPO in 12 to 24 months. It is not a value that we have quoted or the value we may be looking for," he said.
PolicyBazaar offers an online marketplace for insurance products while other financial products like loans and credit cards are sold through PaisaBazaar, which is owned by the parent company Etech Aces Marketing and Consulting.
Earlier this year, the eight-year-old company had announced plans to raise a pre-IPO funding of about $50 million. However, the company raised almost $75 million (Rs 500 crore) in October from new and existing investors.
True North, IDG Venture Partners, Wellington Management Group, Temasek, InfoEdge, Tiger Global and Premji Invest were among the larger investors in this round although the company did not confirm all the names.
CEO Dahiya had in April said that they intend to IPO ready for the IPO by October, according to agency reports. "However, that does not imply we will necessarily do an IPO. Being IPO ready implies financial, statutory, and regulatory preparedness," he added.
The current investor talks could imply that the IPO will come much earlier than expected. The company had initially said that it would be IPO ready in term of regulatory requirements by March 2018 and hold the IPO round by September 2018. The company has been eying a turnover of Rs 2000 crore this financial year.
Other competitors in the segment include Bank Bazaar and CoverFox.
In recent times, insurance companies like HDFC Standard, SBI Life Insurance and ICICI General Insurance have launched IPOs. Among online platforms, BharatMatrimony, JustDial and travel portal MakeMyTrip have gone public so far.
While a large number of Indian online and digital players have been raising funds from global investors, very few of them have actually launched public IPOs.