Anorak Technologies, the U.K. startup building a life insurance advice platform, has raised £5 million in Series A funding. Notably, the round is led by previous backer Kamet Ventures, the tech incubator funded by insurance giant AXA. It brings the total raised by Anorak to £9 million.
In a call, co-founder and CEO David Vanek told me the startup’s mission is to build the world’s “smartest” automated life insurance advice platform. It wants to offer insurance advice at the most appropriate time and place in a person’s life, such as when buying a house or starting a family, and in turn open up life insurance cover to many more people.
As it stands, life insurance, such as accidental death cover, tends to be sold through financial advisors or brokers targeting high net worth individuals. That leaves swathes of people and their dependents without any cover at all.
Vanek says the additional capital will be used to “grow our tech, data, product and business development teams,” and to continue to invest in Anorak’s unique recommendation engine, which covers the profiling of users, analysing their risk, and connecting them to a suitable product.
The “insurtech” startup also plans to integrate with more partners in order to build out its distribution infrastructure for life insurance. This will span investment platforms, online mortgage brokers, money management apps, challenger banks, media groups, and gig economy platforms. To test these non-traditional B2B2C routes to market for life insurance advice, Anorak already has API integrations with Starling Bank, and the money management app Yolt.
So, for example, Starling customers can connect Anorak to their Starling account via the bank’s own API to provide Anorak with access to personal details and transaction data. This enables the life insurance advisor to begin building up a profile based on things like rent, mortgage, salary, outgoings etc., to provide accurate advice.
Anorak will also ask any remaining questions needed to fill out missing profiling data. It then outlines what is at risk in case of death or disability, the type of protection that might be needed (life, income protection, etc), how much, and for how long.
Finally, Anorak presents the three best-suited products (from all of the major life insurers) and provides quotes for each of them, as well as the option to apply and buy the product online through Anorak.
Moving forward, Vanek tells me that Anorak wants to expands its tech platform to advisors, such as mortgage brokers and wealths managers, who haven’t previously had tools to help them provide life insurance or accidental injury cover.
The resulting hybrid approach will enable customer journeys to start online and be finalised offline by an agent/adviser using the Anorak platform to access customer data and use the Anorak recommendation engine, or to start offline with advisers using the Anorak platform and continuing online with a dedicated customer portal so clients can visualise or adjust their insurance needs.
“Buying life insurance is not an impulse buy, it is complex, [and] some people will always want to be able to speak to an adviser,” he tells me. “We want to leverage Anorak technology to build a truly ‘channel agnostic’ protection advice.