Log in or Register for enhanced features | Forgotten Password?
White Papers | Suppliers | Events | Report Store | Companies | Dining Club | Videos

Life Insurance & Pensions
Return to: IBR Home | Life Insurance & Pensions

Ethos secures $11.5m financing to build life insurance company

Published 15 June 2018

Life insurance company Ethos has secured $11.5m in financing led by Sequoia Capital along with 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, which is licensed in 49 states and has already processed thousands of applicants for life insurance coverage, is on a mission to simplify and modernize life insurance products through technology to better align with the wants and needs of American families.

This investment will be used to accelerate the company's rapid growth and enhance product development. Sequoia Partner Roelof Botha will join the board of directors.

While the US economy, job market and home ownership rates, wages and the population as a whole continue to grow, life insurance policies sold in the US are declining. The share of Americans with life insurance has fallen to less than 60%, from 77% in 1989.

Once seen as a vehicle for financial empowerment and protection for families, life insurance is now seen as a burden due to a confusing, lengthy and frustrating process managed by agents whose incentive structures are misaligned with the needs of everyday consumers. This reality has left tens of millions of families unprotected.

Sequoia partner Roelof Botha said: "Ten million new individual life policies are sold annually in the US, and Peter and Lingke have identified the opportunity to modernize their delivery and packaging for the next generation.

"Ethos is revolutionizing the insurance purchasing experience and we're thrilled to partner with them as they create a simple way for consumers to provide for the people they love."

The process for getting a life insurance policy on Ethos is fast, easy and inexpensive, turning a process that was once like going to the DMV to more like shopping online.

Using Ethos, most people can apply and qualify for a policy after a ten minute application versus the ten weeks it takes through a more traditional process. There is always a non-commissioned licensed agent available to give unbiased guidance. More than 99% of Ethos customers have required no medical exam or blood test to get a policy.

Smith Family Circle CEO Kosaku Yada said: "As an organization built on family-first principles, we admire Ethos' mission to simplify life insurance and ultimately empower people to protect their families.

"We're focused on supporting ideas that positively impact people's lives and we're thrilled to help Ethos do that."

Ethos is co-founded by Peter Colis and Lingke Wang, who together previously co-founded Ovid Life, a life insurance marketplace.

Ethos CEO Peter Colis said: "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.

"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 who have college debt, mortgages, spouses and children to care for, and who want to be financially empowered to live their lives without worry. We are proud to partner with Sequoia and our other investors on this mission."

Arrive president Neil Sirni said: "Ethos is working to make life insurance more accessible and affordable for people, through transparency and technological efficiency.

"We're excited to help them achieve that goal."

Source: Company Press Release