Digit Insurance becomes 2021’s first unicorn

By William Girling
Digit Insurance, an insurtech startup based in India, has earned the distinction of becoming 2021’s first unicorn, achieving a valuation of US$1.9bn...

Digit Insurance, an insurtech startup based in India, has earned the distinction of becoming 2021’s first unicorn, achieving a valuation of US$1.9bn.

The company was founded in 2016 and has been gaining renown in the APAC market ever since. Winner of the 2020 ‘Asia’s best general insurance company’ award, as well as the ‘Insurance startup of the year - India’ award, Digit Insurance has already established itself as a firm customer and industry favourite.

Part of its success comes from a solid portfolio of product offerings, including a variety of motor insurance, health cover, travel, shopping and home. The company also champions a simplified approach through a smartphone-driven process that takes users only a few minutes to file a claim. 

This philosophy of ease even extends to the terms and conditions for use, which Digit Insurance has specifically refined and clarified to be comprehensible by a 15-year-old. 

On course to break even

Notable leaders in the startup world (including insurtech) have demonstrated that high valuations and customer acclaim do not necessarily result in immediate profitability. Digit Insurance appears to be subverting this notable blight on innovative new business.

According to an article with Money Control, the company is set to break even in the very near future, with the potential for profit beyond that. Low operating costs, large-scale equity funding and improved business metrics were credited to its overall success.

Kamesh Goyal, Chairman of Digit Insurance, said, “For motor insurance we have not contracted — there has been very small growth; for health and fire, we have grown very well. Also, our overall cost of business has come down, which will help us drive towards profitability.

“Overall, I will still say that the general insurance industry is much better off compared to a lot of other industries. If the economy, which is showing some signs of a pickup, continues with the current trend, we can hope to see growth coming back.”

With IBEF valuing India’s total insurance market at $280bn at the end of 2020, Goyal’s anticipation of sectoral improvement in the future appears to be well-founded. 

Photo: Kamesh Goyal

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