Life-Insurance Startup Ethos Valued at More Than $2 Billion

Life-insurance startup Ethos Technologies Inc. has raised $200 million in a funding round valuing the business at more than $2 billion.

The investment, led by General Catalyst, had participation from existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Accel and GV. The startup also attracted celebrity financiers including rapper Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the investment vehicles of actors Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr.

San Francisco-based Ethos, which is focused on making life insurance more efficient, has now raised $300 million to date.

Ethos acts as a third-party administrator for life-insurance carriers. Its platform allows customers to shop for and secure policies online, without medical exams or blood tests, according to its website.

“What Ethos does is make it approachable and instant,” co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Colis said in an interview. “You can buy it in 10 minutes online,” he said, and “most people do it from their mobile device.”

Colis said the fresh capital will be used to fund growth, with new product offerings and international growth potentially on the horizon.

Ethos is already sizable and fast-growing, with the company on track for more than $100 million in annual revenue this year, Colis said. The business isn’t nearing an initial public offering, however, he said.

Kyle Doherty, managing director at General Catalyst, said his firm has been particularly enthusiastic about insurance-related startups. General Catalyst also has invested in Oscar Health Inc. and Lemonade Inc.

“Our general view has been it’s a very large market that’s been a bit slower to digitize than other segments of our economy,” Doherty said, adding that Ethos is “dramatically lowering the friction to receive life insurance.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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