Predict your next investment

Angel Investor (Individual)

See what CB Insights has to offer

Investments

1

About Ian Jeffrey

Ian Jeffrey Headquarter Location

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Latest Ian Jeffrey News

More people can buy life insurance thanks to digital

May 21, 2021

By  Ian Jeffrey May 21, 2021, 7:10 a.m. EDT 3 Min Read REGISTER NOW Two recent pieces of industry news have me thinking about the role of technology – and money – in helping bring life insurance to the masses. First, Ethos, one of the new breed, digital-native life insurers, raised another $200 million in VC funding. Amazingly, nine-digit raises are no longer a novelty in Insurtech; nor did this raise help Ethos become part of the coveted unicorn club – now so populated it is resembling a petting zoo – because it was already there! The new funding is, however, helping position the company to insure its next one million customers – an exciting and important prospect. More on Ethos in a minute, but this recent news cycle also included a highly anticipated report from Capgemini and Efma, the “ World Insurance Report 2021 .” In the press release announcing this new report and its findings, I read a headline that made me lean in: “Insurers must blend physical and digital distribution models to provide superior customer experience in a post-pandemic world.” (Emphasis mine.) Suddenly “distribution,” the set of processes that enables customer acquisition across advisor-assisted and customer self-serve channels – which, not coincidentally, are now primarily both digital – is, to use an old newspaper term, an “above the fold” concern. Distribution matters. Which brings me back to Ethos. What is enabling this 6-year-old startup to grow 500% year over year while nearing $100 million in annualized gross profit? A distribution value prop, delivered online, that gets life insurance policies into the hands of customers in 10 minutes. For traditional insurers, that process can take 10 weeks – or more. Two Paths to the Waterfall: Disruptors vs. Enablers Ethos’ funding success and the publication of the World Insurance Report underscore a few key themes in the life insurance industry that often get obscured or overlooked. First, while a $200 million raise and $2 billion valuation are nothing to sneeze at – nor are the hundreds of billions being invested in Insurtechs overall – legacy insurers are exponentially more capitalized, currently managing trillions of dollars in assets. Second, Insurtechs of the Ethos variety are not the only game in town. Companies like Ethos, Lemonade, and Root are disruptors. They are insurance pure-plays built from the ground up for a digital-first world and designed to replace traditional carriers. But there are also a multitude of InsurTech enablers, companies like Breathe Life, Socotra, and Qover. Enablers partner with traditional carriers in the belief that there is still room for the old guard, one with an established legacy of managing risk and protecting clients, to thrive – as long as it invests in modernizing its processes and operations. I’m impressed that Ethos can insure someone in 10 minutes, and I expect traditional carriers are, too. But I don’t think legacy life insurers, some with hundreds of years of risk management experience, would trade all their knowledge for an AI-based, 10-minute approval process. Relying too heavily on the “rapid” part of underwriting reminds me of the recent energy situation in Texas. There, the grid operator bet against a “hundred-year weather event” ever happening, and was undone when it did, leaving customers literally in the dark, while adding insult to injury with monthly bills 10 or even hundreds of times higher than normal. In the “glass half full” department, I’m also reminded of what Accenture has identified as a $12 trillion life insurance gap (i.e., the uninsured and under-insured) in just the U.S. alone. Ethos and like-minded disruptors may get their next million customers, which is great news for them, their investors, and those new customers alike. But remember, even if Ethos meets its goal, that still leaves hundreds of millions of policies to get filled, and I suspect that with the right adjustments, traditional carriers can still get the lion’s share of them. How will they do it? By abandoning their old belief that every solution to every problem has to be built in house. By building on their own pandemic success stories, where life insurers got more agile and more digital to meet customer needs than at any point in their histories. And by partnering with enablers, the Insurtechs whose very reason for being is to attack the inefficiencies holding traditional carriers, and millions of potential customers, back. 48m ago By Gillian Tan and Crystal Tse May 20 May 20 SSA & Co. May 18

Ian Jeffrey Investments

1 Investments

Ian Jeffrey has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in Bus.com as part of their Seed VC on February 2, 2016.

CBI Logo

Ian Jeffrey Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

2/18/2016

Seed VC

Bus.com

$1.5M

Yes

1

Date

2/18/2016

Round

Seed VC

Company

Bus.com

Amount

$1.5M

New?

Yes

Co-Investors

Sources

1

CB Insights uses Cookies

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.