DeadHappy, the UK pay-as-you-go life insurance provider, raises £4M Series A

DeadHappy, a U.K.-based insurtech startup that wants to offer more flexible life insurance and remove the taboo surrounding death, has raised £4 million in Series A funding. Backing comes from, alongside the company’s seed investor Octopus Ventures.

Founded in 2017, DeadHappy claims to be the U.K.’s “first fully digital pay-as-you-go life insurance provider.” It offers flexible life insurance policies that are designed to be “cheaper, easier and better” than existing traditional providers. This includes pricing insurance based on your current circumstances and the option to add (or remove) further coverage on a rolling basis.

More broadly, the startup is developing what it calls its “Deathwish” platform, which is something akin to a will. The idea is that you can specify how you wish any future insurance payout to be used, such as paying off your mortgage. And there are also plans to incorporate other wishes not related to finances.

“Our vision is to change attitudes to death and we are tackling that in a number of ways,” DeadHappy co-founder Phil Zeidler tells me. “Despite death being the one certainty humans face, it remains for many a taboo subject, and the failure to talk about it and plan for it is both counterintuitive and leads to significant further trauma at the most difficult of times for family and loved ones.”

Currently the Deathwish platform offers financially motivated Deathwishes, but the longer-term plan is to enable practical Deathwishes, such as making sure your funeral is the way you want it, and what Zeidler calls emotionally motivated Deathwishes.

The idea is to help offer a way to help loved ones “achieve something meaningful in their lives, whether that’s learning how to play the drums or funding an expedition to the Amazon,” he explains.

“Crucially, customers can share these Deathwishes as they choose, which is a practical tool to ensure their wishes are clear and understood. Our platform acts as a catalyst for opening a conversation with loved ones and a place to share recorded video messages and stories.”

Meanwhile, DeadHappy says it will use the new funding for future growth by further building the technology and capabilities of its Deathwish platform. It also plans to expand its product and partnership offerings to major financial service distributors.