Jay Z, Robert Downey Jr, Will Smith and Kevin Durant have added some celebrity glamour to an $11.5 million funding round for insurtech startup Ethos Technologies.
The famous names participated through their various investment vehicles in the round, which was led by Sequoia Capital.
The new funding will be used to accelerate growth and product development, say founders Peter Colis and Lingke Wang.
. was founded last year, the product of two Stanford MBAs. The company’s core product is a streamlined, and affordable process for buying term insurance — which pays out benefits if the insured dies within a certain time frame.
To stand out in a crowded field, Ethos uses the “the latest technology and predictive analytics,” said co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Colis, and cuts out paperwork for applicants. About “99 percent of our customers had no required medical exam, blood test or traditionally lengthy approval process,” Colis said. People can instead sign up for life insurance within 10 minutes, and the company’s plans start at $6 a month — with prices rising from there. “Using software, we can help large numbers of customers at scale, regardless of their policy size,” Colis added.
The company is currently licensed to operate in 49 states. It uses Assurity Life Insurance Co. for underwriting, and it gets reinsurance through Munich RE.