Jay Z and Will Smith back insurtech startup Ethos

Jay Z and Will Smith back insurtech startup Ethos

Jay Z, Robert Downey Jr, Will Smith and Kevin Durant have added some celebrity glamour to an $11.5 million funding round for insurtech startup Ethos Technologies.

The famous names participated through their various investment vehicles in the round, which was led by Sequoia Capital.

Ethos is looking to make the process of getting a life insurance policy fast, easy and cheap. The startup claims that most people can apply and qualify for a policy after a 10 minute application - compared to the weeks it takes through more traditional methods.

Ethos says that it can do this by using the latest technology and predictive analytics, cutting paperwork and, usually, things like medical exams.

Although only now coming out of stealth, the San Francisco-based startup is already licensed in 49 states and has processed thousands of applicants using Assurity Life Insurance for underwriting.

The new funding will be used to accelerate growth and product development, say founders Peter Colis and Lingke Wang.

Says Sequoia partner Roelof Botha: "Ten million new individual life policies are sold annually in the US, and Peter and Lingke have identified the opportunity to modernise their delivery and packaging for the next generation.

"Ethos is revolutionising the insurance purchasing experience and we're thrilled to partner with them as they create a simple way for consumers to provide for the people they love."

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