YuLife raises $120M for $800M gamified, health-focused life insurance – TechCrunch

Yulife initially made a name for itself in its home market of the UK for its innovative approach to providing life insurance; but do so by focusing on improving the policyholder’s current life with health opportunities and encourage its use with gamification; a model that not only aims to benefit policyholders more, but also increases engagement on the platform and provides additional revenue for YuLife. , which offers deals on health services.

His idea spread. it is now used by more than 500 businesses, including the Co-op, Del Monte, Jaguar Land Rover, Santander and CapitalOne, who in turn provide programs to their employees, one in three every day running in the app. . Since then, the company is now announcing that it has raised $120 million to expand the concept. Today, YuLife covers group life insurance, critical illness protection and income protection, but it is now rapidly expanding into new categories such as dental and healthcare, as well as financial services (pension is an example of a category with strong links to life insurance : ), as well as new markets like the US

The funding, a Series C, brings in new strategic investor Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, which is leading the round, with participation from previous investors Creandum, LocalGlobe, Target Global, Latitude, Anthemis, OurCrowd, Notion. , MMC and Eurazeo.

CEO and co-founder Sammy Rubin tells us this latest round of fundraising values ​​the company at $800 million. For some context on this figure, when YuLife recently raised money before this, a Series B $70 million in 2021 – it was estimated at 346 million dollars.

That’s a decent jump considering the current climate. Many tech companies struggle to raise funds, and when they do, valuations definitely take a hit (and in a number of cases, declines). And insuretech is definitely not spared. A boom at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic saw insurance tech funding 50% lower in Q1 2022 than a year earlier, with Q2 shaping up more slowly, research shows Transaction:.

The reason for YuLife’s decline is that the company itself has continued to grow through a slowdown.

Rubin tells me that his clients, who sell directly to B2B organizations that in turn provide life insurance to their employees as part of larger benefits plans, have quadrupled in the last year (not as much as last year, which was is 10X but still growing), revenues have grown fivefold and coverage is now $50 billion, up from $15 billion a year ago. About 50% of its customers are new to the platform, he said, and in doing so, it widens the circle of those who see it as a valuable benefit for their employees.

“These are companies that have never had life insurance before,” Rubin said, noting that they are attracted not only to “the whole benefit of life insurance, but the whole platform around it.”

That whole platform is an interesting twist on the basic concept of what life insurance can be about.

The app is created by gaming industry veterans and is designed around the concept of various natural environments such as forests and mountains, which YuLife collectively calls its “Universe”.

In each of these environments, users are encouraged to walk, bike, meditate, and do other activities to get around their environment in a healthy way, while being able to compare their progress with other peers. As with most games these days, there’s a degree of customization in each experience; one person leaning on one activity over another seems to produce different subsequent scenarios.

Along with this, users are offered discounts on third-party products to further participate in the game within YuLife, which may include a subscription to the meditation app Calm, FitBit and Garmin devices, and more. As users make their way through their worlds, they receive rewards in the form of something called YuCoins. YuCoins can in turn be used to redeem vouchers from the likes of Amazon and Asos.

Group life insurance, Rubin said, is the company’s leading product and accounts for more than 80% of revenues. Its other products, currently critical illness, income protection and dental, make up the remaining 20%. His income, he added, is attributed to the sale of insurance policies. “Our insurance policies are comprehensive and include a health element,” he said.

Health itself is a huge opportunity, worth an estimated $1.5 trillion by 2021 McKinsey estimates — and while you can see a strong connection between how it can be oriented around a life insurance product and indeed a health insurance product, it will be interesting to see how YuLife adapts the concept to other types of insurance and other products such as . as financial services. Rubin noted that one of the perks of the dental product right now is a free electric toothbrush for every new user (although users still have to pay for replacement heads).

As for YuLife’s other form of growth, Rubin added that it has “no plans” to become a D2C product, but to continue selling through companies. This continues to set it apart from the broader wave of insurtechs that have largely disrupted the incumbent market by improving affordability of insurance in the first place.

AIG, Met Life and Zurich are YuLife’s current UK underwriters, and Rubin said the company is currently in talks with underwriters and other partners for its US launch. Dai-chi Life does operate in the US market, among other operations that Protective Life owns, but Rubin says the strategic element of this investment is not aimed at that, but rather a longer-term plan in Japan as well. to expand.

“Dai-ichi Life is committed to supporting companies with a proven track record of changing people’s lives for the better, and YuLife does just that by bringing tangible value to the well-being of individuals in financial products,” said Toshiaki Sumino, Director and Dai-ichi Life. ichi Life Holdings, Inc. CEO in a statement. “YuLife has tremendous potential to build on its achievements to date, and we are pleased to invest in and help propel YuLife to its next steps and expand its global operations. YuLife shares our ethos of leveraging the latest trends in technology to make a real difference in the lives of financial product users.”

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