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The Jay-Z-backed life insurance startup, Ethos, has raised $35 million

Ethos, the startup marketing a new life insurance product for people who probably haven’t really thought about life insurance, may have 99 startup problems but new capital ain’t one.
The company just announced that it raised $35 million in a new round of financing.
That’s a pretty big number for a company in the normally staid life insurance world, but considering that the company’s previous round of $11.5 million came from the family offices and investment firms of Hollywood and sports celebrities like Will Smith’s Smith Family Circle; Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures; Kevin Durant’s Durant Company; Arrive, the Roc Nation investment company from Jay Z; and leading Silicon Valley investment firm Sequoia Capital, folks probably shouldn’t be too surprised.
The new funding was led by Accel Partners, with new investor GV (the investment firm formerly known as Google Ventures) also participating alongside return investors Sequoia Capital and Arrive .
Ethos makes its money by providing an online and mobile sales channel for insurance policies created by the Lincoln, Neb.-based life insurance company, Assurity Life.
Rather than selling permanent life insurance, which requires users to pay in perpetuity and which payers often let lapse or opt out over time for a loss, Ethos bills itself as a more equitable insurance provider by only offering term life insurance, which policy-holders only have to pay for a fixed period of time.
The term life insurance policies are less expensive than permanent life insurance offerings.
Given how little insight customers have into the process other insurance providers, which pay their salespeople on commission, have incentives to pitch the more expensive policies that customers often let lapse. It’s a win-win for the insurer, according to company chief executive officer, Peter Colis.
The Jay-Z-backed life insurance startup, Ethos, has raised $35 million
Ethos co-founders Peter Colis and Lingke Wang
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