Rewards-Based Life Insurance
Yulife makes it easy for companies and individuals to purchase life insurance.
Its proprietary online system enables users to receive coverage an estimated 10x faster than traditional life insurance companies.
And through use of the company’s “wellbeing” app, policy holders can engage in healthy habits to earn digital tokens. These tokens can be exchanged for rewards like movie tickets, air miles, or gift cards to retailers like Amazon.
Yulife is led by CEO Sammy Rubin, who was CEO of the first UK-based life insurance company to reward healthy lifestyle choices. Yulife launched its platform in Q4 2018. Since then, the company has:
• Attracted more than 2,000 customers.
• Established partnerships with Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA), and American International Group (NYSE: AIG), two of the world’s largest insurance companies.
• And received an investment from Anthemis Group, one of the leading VC firms in the financial technology industry.
Now the company is raising capital to further develop its mobile app and technology.
(Please note: This particular startup is raising funds from “accredited” investors only. An accredited investor is someone with a net worth of at least $1 million, or annual income of at least $200,000, or $300,000 with their spouse.)
Recently, a number of startups in the insurance technology, or “Insurtech,” market have achieved success disrupting traditional insurance companies:
• Next Insurance, for example, offers coverage for small businesses. This company raised $83 million in 2018 and is valued at $350 million.
• Ethos, a U.S.-based life insurance platform, received investments from notable VC firms Accel and Sequoia Capital, and is valued at $132 million.
• And Lemonade, an insurance company offering homeowners and renters insurance, recently achieved “unicorn” status, a term for startups whose valuation surpasses $1 billion.
Yulife, meanwhile, is targeting the market for life insurance coverage in the UK.
For many, applying for this type of insurance is complicated and time-consuming. The process involves a lengthy application process, as paperwork is often reviewed by agents, brokers, underwriters, and medical examiners. In the process, many insurance companies lose touch with the experience and needs of their end customers.
At the same time, relatively healthy life insurance policy holders often pay inflated premiums to combat the risks of unhealthy policy holders.
In the UK, these problems have created a $330 billion gap in the life insurance market. Specifically, more than 8.5 million adults forego this type of insurance due to the hassle of applying. And approximately 63% of small- and medium-sized businesses in the UK have insufficient coverage for their employees.
Yulife provides a solution to this underserved market.
As mentioned, its platform makes it easy for individuals and companies to apply for life insurance. Users can obtain coverage in just a few minutes, and receive the necessary documents faster than applying through traditional providers.
Once they’ve received coverage, users gain access to Yulife’s mobile wellbeing app. This app uses behavioral science to drive lasting healthy habits.
By engaging in habits such as meditation, walking, and eating right, users earn “Yucoins” that can be exchanged for rewards. Users can progress through various levels, complete challenges, and compete against other employees.
While this platform offers policy holders inspiration for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it gives Yulife access to vast amounts of health and wellness data. Over time, this will help the company better connect with its customers, and it will be able to use that data to improve its life insurance policy underwriting.
To provide coverage, Yulife has partnered with a reinsurance company called Reinsurance Group of America, or RGA, for short. Reinsurance is the practice in which insurance companies transfer portions of their portfolios to other companies to reduce their exposure to claims. In other words, reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies. RGA is one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world, with assets of nearly $40 billion.
Each Yulife policy is underwritten by American International Group (AIG), one of the largest insurance companies in the world.
Yulife offers three different insurance plans based on the amount of coverage provided. The plans are:
• Yulife Group, which costs an estimated $5 per month per employee. This is one option for businesses.
• Yulife Lite, which costs $9 per employee per month and offers $100,000 in accidental death coverage.
• And Yulife, which costs $16 per month and offers full life insurance up to about $440,000.
The company projects to generate more than $1 million in revenue in 2019, $7 million in 2020, and $24 million in 2021.
Yulife will use funds from this round to increase its marketing and sales efforts, and further develop its mobile app and technology.
In addition to capital from individual investors, this round’s investors include Creandum (a venture capital firm whose portfolio includes Spotify, iZettle, and Vivino), MMC Ventures, and Notion.
Long-term, Yulife plans to include additional insurance products, such as critical illness insurance, income protection, traveler’s insurance, and homeowner’s insurance.
Sammy has extensive experience in the insurance industry.
In 1989, he started Policy Portfolio PLC, an insurance company focused on selling endowment policies. He eventually took the company public on the London Stock Exchange.
From there, he was CEO of PruProtect, the first life insurance company in the UK to reward customers for healthy lifestyle choices.
Sammy earned a degree in Computer Science from Imperial College London.
Prior to starting Yulife, Jaco was CEO of Momentum Multiply, a South Africa-based insurance company. Before that, he oversaw the investment fund of Exponential Ventures, a VC firm.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pretoria, and a degree in Strategy, Innovation, and Globalization from Oxford.
Before starting Yulife, Sam was Head of Business Development and Operations at a financial technology company focused on the lending market.
He earned a Master’s degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.
Josh is a seasoned tech entrepreneur who founded Chelsea Apps Factory, a company that’s created mobile apps for notable businesses including Waitrose, a chain of supermarkets, and Standard Life (OTCMKTS: SLFPF), an investment management company.
Before Yulife, Jonathan co-founded a mobile communications and advertising startup. In addition, he was a team leader at KPMG, a professional services company.
He earned an MBA from Imperial College Business School in London.
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One of the largest reinsurance companies in the world with assets of nearly $40 billion.