Famous faces bring funding to US insurtech Ethos
Ethos, the life insurance company, has launched with $11.5 million in financing led by Sequoia Capital, with the support of a range of different celebs.
The other participating investors include Stanford University; Arrive, a subsidiary of Roc Nation; Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures; Kevin Durant’s Durant Company; Will Smith’s Smith Family Circle; and a credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank.
Ethos says it aims to simplify and modernise life insurance products through technology to better align with the wants and needs of American families. It was co-founded by Peter Colis (CEO) and Lingke Wang, also co-founders of Ovid Life, a life insurance marketplace.
This investment will be used for growth and product development. Sequoia’s partner Roelof Botha will join the board of directors.
According to the American Council of Life Insurers, the share of Americans with life insurance has fallen to less than 60%, from 77% in 1989. Ethos claims that the management of these insurances, from a tech and personal perspective, has alienated people from them.
“Ten million new individual life policies are sold annually in the US, and Peter and Lingke have identified the opportunity to modernise their delivery and packaging for the next generation,” comments Botha.
Ethos claims that its solution allows most people to apply and qualify for a policy after a ten-minute application, versus the ten weeks it takes through a more traditional process.
“Life insurance is about families, financial empowerment and protection. Intrinsically, it is a good thing. But somewhere along the way, protecting profits, not people, became the industry’s passion,” says Colis. “We have the opportunity to rebuild a broken industry and put honesty at its core, ultimately expanding life insurance accessibility to the millions of US families.”