Life insurance startup, Ethos, gets $11m from Sequoia and a star-studded list of backers

Life insurance gets reincarnated into VC gold, all because of the proof that isn’t in the pudding.

Ethos, the stealth insurtech firm that wants to make life insurance accessible, cheap, and easy, has officially come out of hiding with an $11.5m investment led by Sequoia Capital.

But, your classic run of the mill VC giants aren’t the only ones interested in this ever-growing industry… 

Tony Stark and The Durantula are getting in on it, too

We’re not talking Gilbert Gottfried or Rob Schneider here. We’re talking public-eye royalty from Jay Z’s Roc Nation, to the family funds from Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr., and NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

Of course, life insurance isn’t a typical knee-jerk investment for Hollywood moguls, and hall-of-famers, but these days more venture capitalists are piling into the insurtech space.

According to a May report, the number of venture capital investors joining the sector increased from 53 in 2012, to 217 in 2017 — since that rise, those investors have shoved $9B into the industry.

Why are they so interested in it?

Because no one’s interested in it

Life insurance is on the decline — according to TechCrunch, only 60% of Americans have life insurance in 2018, down from 77% in 1989 — and that’s exactly why guys like Ironman and Beyonce’s husband want a piece.

In the mind of investors, decline often spells d-i-s-r-u-p-t-i-o-n. 

The assumption is that there is room for new companies to come in and blow the old guard out of the water with a newer, better service.

And that’s exactly what Ethos is selling

The SF-based company’s core product is a streamlined, and affordable, process for buying term insurance. The company says 99% of its applicants don’t need a medical exam or blood test to get approved for a policy. 

According to co-founder and CEO Peter Colis, to stand out in a crowded field, Ethos uses “the latest technology and predictive analytics” to cut down on lengthy and expensive consultations. With Ethos, people can reportedly sign up for life insurance within 10 minutes.

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