Our Investment in Ethos: Reinventing Life Insurance
First published October 30, 2018
Today Accel is announcing our Series B investment into Ethos, the fastest growing company in digital life insurance.While the US life insurance industry is one of the largest markets in the world with hundreds of billions of premium dollars underwritten annually, it’s an industry that has been slow to move online with the overwhelming majority of individual life insurance policies still being sold through traditional insurance agents.
The slow pace of innovation across the industry results from decades of process build up at insurance carriers - and it's customers who feel the brunt of it. Historically, buying a life insurance policy has required in-person consultations with pushy insurance sales agents, a medical exam, bloodwork, and a multi-week application process with little transparency throughout.
Ethos’ founders, Peter Colis and Lingke Wang, have set out to make purchasing life insurance as easy as a few taps on your phone. Ethos’ technology compresses the multi-week underwriting process into an intuitive online sign-up flow, and allows Ethos to bind policies without drawing blood. In an industry defined by aggressive sales tactics, Ethos has become the fastest growing term life insurance provider without a commissioned salesperson on staff. In a short amount of time, Peter and Lingke have built a trusted brand that has been backed by the largest reinsurance partners in the world and now processes thousands of customers and applications every month.
Over the years, Accel has been behind many leaders that have helped push large consumer markets through the inevitable transition to online and mobile distribution, whether that’s retail (Jet.com), travel (Kayak), real estate (Trulia), music (Spotify), events (SeatGeek), or payments (Venmo). We believe that Ethos is reinventing how term life insurance is sold and understood, and we’re excited to join Peter and Lingke as Ethos reshapes this market.