Online insurance aggregator Coverfox is speculated to name investor Sanjib Kumar Jha as the interim chief executive as investors of the Mumbai-based company step in to stabilize the firm.
Jha’s immediate responsibilities would include bringing in fresh capital and possibly continue to look out for a strategic buyout, as per sources.
The speculation comes weeks after Premanshu Singh, the former CEO, quit to join rival Paytm as a Senior Vice-president and head of its insurance business.
This development comes months after Paytm’s talks to acquire the online insurance aggregator did not go through. The insurance aggregator has also been looking to raise fresh financing, to the tune of $50-$60 Mn and had named Chinese investment banking major Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to scout for potential investors.
The move to appoint Jha is reminiscent of another deal wherein institutional investors took over the operations of a portfolio company in turmoil, namely Flipkart, wherein CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who was previously with Tiger Global Management, which was the most influential investor in India’s largest online retailer, had taken over the reins of the ecommerce player as it was struggling in the face of increased competition from Amazon.
Jha comes with significant operational experience, having been the founding CEO of startup-focused lender IntelleGrow. He was also hired by the World Bank to help execute the $500 Mn Innovative MSME Funding Program of the government, which was operationalized by SIDBI. It is this experience the online insurance aggregator is hoping to leverage upon to sail through currently.