Indian private lender Axis Bank has signed an agreement to invest $6.12-8.57 million for a 9.94% stake in Go Digit Life Insurance, according to a regulatory filing.
The development comes shortly after India’s largest private lender HDFC Bank said in a stock market statement that it plans to buy a 9.94% stake in the insurance company for up to 700 million. rupees ($9 million).
Backed by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Group, Digit had announced plans to go public this year but saw market regulator SEBI suspend its proposal earlier this month. The IPO remained “on hold” and some comments were made, according to the regulator.
Digit Insurance was launched by Kamesh Goyal, a former Allianz executive who ran the German insurer’s business in India, with Watsa’s Fairfax backing in 2017. Digit was launched with a capital of around 350 crore from rupees. Fast forward to May 2022, Digit was valued at nearly $4 billion when it raised a funding round.
It has so far raised over $400 million from Sequoia Capital, A91 Partners and Faering Capital, in addition to Fairfax.
A general insurance company offering health, car, bike and travel insurance, Digit became the top unicorn of 2021 after raising $18 million from existing investors at a valuation of $1.9 billion. The company is also backed by Indian cricket star Virat Kohli, who is its brand ambassador.
The purchase of Axis would value the company’s life insurance arm at $90 million, despite the fact that Digit has yet to obtain a license for the practice, according to media reports.
Axis currently offers certain insurance products in partnership with Max Financial.