Life insurance – the financial protection you buy against your death – may not be read on paper like most vibrant industries. But a life insurance startup that believes it can turn that stigma around, turn the concept with the gamut and make a push toward wellness and health – and life insurance in the process. That could change the industry – is announcing significant funding today, a sign of the traction it’s gaining for its big ideas.
uLife, a London startup that has created a new kind of life insurance concept – it encourages and rewards users to focus on their physical and mental health – has launched one of the largest series to date. has raised $70 million. B has been picked up by an insurtech startup in Europe.
Led by Target Global, the round also included Eurazio, Latitude and previous backers Crandum, Notion Capital, Anthemis, MMC Ventures and OurCrowd. Sammy Rubin, CEO and founder of ULife, confirmed that the round will value ULife at $346 million (£250 million).
The company will use the funds to continue to expand its business, build more products on its platform, and significantly continue to invest in the technology it uses to run its service. How should its policies be run?
“Our insurance is about helping people live healthier and longer lives,” Rubin said in an interview. “If we can help reduce claims while encouraging people to do so, that’s a win.” But it is much more than that, he said. “We’re building a new kind of risk model where we’re able to create new actuarial tables that haven’t been updated in 200 years. Actually, I think about how smoker’s rates and how they’ve changed , this was the last update. So, most people will see your age and are you a smoker and that’s it.
uLife is currently only active in the UK and is only sold directly to organizations, who in turn offer it to their employees. That business currently – which also includes income protection and critical illness cover – offers $15 billion of coverage and has seen a 10-fold increase in the past year – a bumper for life insurance policies, possibly for the worst of reasons (hello , pandemic; goodbye, predicting what the future might look like). Clients include Capital One, Co-op, Curve, Havas Media, Severn Trent and Sodexo.
That $15 billion is only a drop in the bucket in an industry that is currently estimated to be worth about $2.2 trillion.
The company got its start on the back of a persistent problem Rubin experienced at his previous insurance startup PruProtect (now called Vitality Life).
“Usually insurance benefits just sit on the shelf and are never used,” he said. uLife set out to change this by creating an “everything about engagement” policy.
The app – created by veterans of the gaming industry – is designed around the concept of different environments, currently covering jungle, ocean, desert and mountains, which uLife calls the “Universe” collectively. (It also incidentally became a template for the design of the company’s headquarters in London.)
In each of these environments, users are encouraged to walk, cycle, meditate and do other activities around their environment in a healthy way, as well as being able to compare their progress with other peers. is encouraged to. There is a degree of individualization in everyone’s experience, with one person leaning into one activity in another, seemingly producing different scenarios of the latter.
Additionally, users are offered discounts on third-party products to engage with games within uLife, which may include subscriptions to the meditation app Calm, FitBit, and Garmin devices.
As users make their way through their worlds, they receive rewards in the form of something called UCoin. In turn, UCoin can be used to purchase vouchers like Amazon and Asos… Consumerism is just another way for some of us to improve happiness.
It summarizes all this as just a policy aimed at giving peace of mind to people for their families when they leave this world.
“Long-term, it’s not just about health, it’s about lifestyle,” Rubin said.
It’s also about ULife’s business: the various products it offers are built around an affiliate model, so there’s a business interest for the company around offering and seeing items purchased and redeemed. However, it is not necessary to use the app as a policy holder.
The win-win theme runs strong, but there’s also the fact that uLife is taking a different approach altogether, in an industry where so far most of the “disruptions” have been more about how to buy life insurance, rather than the way you buy it. whether to reevaluate. Life insurance really is. To do the same for other people in space, check out DeadHappy, BIMA, and Jay-Z Supported Ethos. That being said, it’s not the only one dealing with “lifestyle” as part of life insurance: Sprout is rethinking that area as well.
“ULife is redefining life insurance, using the most innovative technologies to transform the traditional industry in a big way,” Ben Kaminsky, Partner at Target Global, said in a statement. “With health and wellbeing increasingly in the limelight in the wake of Covid-19, uLife is fundamentally changing insurance by encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles. uLife is ideally positioned to build on its tenfold growth during the pandemic and take the lead in helping its customers respond to the challenges posed by the ever-changing working environment. We are extremely proud to partner with uLife on their journey to become a global leader in life insurance.”