Saurabh Arora CTO (L) and Abhishek Poddar CEO, Plum
TheNFAPost Podcast
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Bengaluru, NFAPost: Bengaluru-based group health insurance startup Plum has raised Rs 7 crore in seed funding. The round was led by Incubate Fund with participation from Gemba Capital and Tracxn Labs along with angel investors including Abhijit Gupta and Ram Sahasranam of Praxify Health, Sudheendra Chilappagari of Belong.co, Nitin Jayakrishnan of Pando and Alvin Tse of Xiaomi.

Plum is on a mission to enable employee health insurance for over 1.1 million companies in India by reinventing how health insurance works. The company plans to use the funding to scale business & engineering teams so as to solve some of the hardest engineering challenges in Insurtech and build innovative distribution channels. Within just 4 months of launch, Plum has managed to get over 100 companies as customers.

Plum, through its online platform, www.plumhq.com, provides employers and employees with customisable plans, transparent pricing, and high-quality healthcare experience. The platform understands the needs of a corporate and guides them on setting up their group health insurance in less than 60 minutes. Plum combines modern technologies with robust processes to deliver unprecedented simplicity and efficiency, the startup said.

Plum additionally helps employees with improved health benefits including doctor consultations, health check-ups, fitness & yoga, mental wellness, nutrition and dental care. The platform enables ease of experience for employees with guided claims support. Plum has an insurance intermediary license from IRDA.

Taking the current situation into account, Plum also offers COVID-19 cover as an offering to its customers, however big or small they are.  Plum’s clients include Twilio, Instawork, Posist, RevvSales, The Label Life, Growfit, StayAbode, Fampay, myHQ, and Jiny. 

“When we look at other countries like the US, we see that a high percentage of the population is covered under employer-provided health insurance. We believe that India too will move in that direction, where a significant portion of India’s population will rely on employer-sponsored health insurance,” Plum Co-founder and CEO Abhishek Poddar said.

“With Plum, we want to enable every last company in India to provide a high-quality health cover to their employees, no matter how small or big they are. We want to be the de-facto platform for employee health insurance, initially in India, and later in other developing markets like SE Asia and Latam,” he added.

Plum was founded in late 2019 by Abhishek Poddar and Saurabh Arora who comes with rich experience in financial technologies and insurance distribution. Abhishek, a Stanford University alumnus has worked with Google and McKinsey and built technology companies. Saurabh led product and engineering teams at Freshworks (he had previously built Airwoot, an AI-based CRM company which got acquired by Freshworks). Abhishek and Saurabh were joined by Debankur Biswas, an FMS alumnus with 17 years of experience in building insurance distribution and has led operations for Insurtech player BIMA in Srilanka and Bangladesh.

“At Plum, we are imagining group health insurance products from ground-up. We have built underwriting and fraud detection rails with insurance companies that never ever existed. This has enabled us to offer pricing that may be up to 80% cheaper than existing market pricing, to companies as small as 7 employees. At Plum, we are building a truly online insurance platform that covers frontend (distribution) and backend (pricing, carrier and compliances),” Plum Co-founder and CTO Saurabh Arora said.

Health insurance is now becoming a “must-have” product in India, especially in the post-COVID world. It is an essential component for companies to attract talent. However, group health insurance is a very complicated product in nature and the entire customer process from buying to claiming is still very manual in India. So, there is a huge gap between insurance companies, employers, and employees. Plum is filling this gap by bringing transparency and efficiency through beautiful technology and product,” Incubate Fund India Founder and General Partner Nao Murakami said.

The group health insurance market in India, which is almost 50% of the total health insurance market, is expected to grow to Rs 1 lakh crore by 2025. It has seen an annual growth of about 25% in the last few years, and is doubling every three years.  

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