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Disrupting life insurance in the UK with automated advice platform, Anorak secures £5M

Anorak Co-founders

Over nine million families in the UK face the risk of financial collapse if the family breadwinner dies. In the United States, it’s 37 million families, and it’s an even bigger issue across Asia. It’s a massive global problem and one that has seen an increased focus in the public conscience since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

£5M funding for Anorak

A London-based insurtech startup Anorak has also witnessed a surge in demand for its services in recent times. And now, it has announced securing £5 million in its latest funding round, which will help the company accelerate its expansion. 

Anorak’s latest funding was led by Outward VC, with Triple Point Ventures, while existing investor Kamet Ventures participated as well. Further, the round was backed by some notable angel investors including Nic Kohler, the former CEO of Hollard, Paul Evans, Chairman of Allianz PLC, and board member of Bupa and SwissRE Europe, Charlie Delingpole (CEO and founder of ComplyAdvantage), and Will Neale (Founder of Fonix and Grabyo). 

Fuel “embedded insurance advice”

Founded in 2017 by David Vanek and Vincent Durnez, Anorak claims to offer the world’s first fully automated life insurance advice platform.

“Our regulated automated insurance advice platform can be integrated into existing partners’ eco-systems so that people can access a whole of market life insurance recommendations while using everyday services such as digital banks, online mortgage brokers, investment platforms, digital money management service and challenger banks, David Vanek, CEO & co-founder of Anorak tells UKTN.

High demand of IP among youngsters

The life insurance industry has experienced a surge in demand since the pandemic hit, with over eight million 22-44 year-olds having considered protection in the last three months. Yet life insurance and income protection are complicated insurance products to buy, people’s awareness is still low and there exists a “Protection Gap” — where millions of Brits are totally exposed if the worst happens. 

Anorak aims to fill that gap by educating and advising its users. The UK-based company is on a mission to make life insurance and expert financial advice accessible to everyone and “to empower people to make informed decisions and feel confident that their families will be looked after if they die or become ill.”

The latest funding round will be used to accelerate the startup’s partnerships effort with new distributors. “Anorak has the power to open up alternative distribution channels for life insurance sales which we call “embedded insurance advice”. This is a way for many companies to give clients access to a transparent and easy service that protects their family’s financial future,” adds Vanek.

UK market–in focus for now

Further, the plan also includes investing in their digital platform to ensure their users get an automated ongoing assessment of their financial vulnerability and cover requirements as their life evolves.

“Finally we will scale our operations by enabling more users to engage with an expert protection adviser if they wish to, seamlessly,” adds Vanek. International development is clearly on its roadmap further down the line. For the time being, however, Anorak is solely focused on the UK market.

Unique digital-first service

While, life insurance distribution is still heavily reliant on traditional financial advisers wherein the general insurance space (motor, home, etc.) Price Comparison Websites dominate and in the life insurance sector PCWs (or price comparison websites) represent a small fraction of policies sold, because their quote and buy service does not help users navigate their needs and get personalised recommendations. 

On the other hand, Anorak claims to be the only player globally to have built a recommendation engine that brings regulated advice to the mass market as a digital-first service. Their platform also claims to have a seamless omnichannel advice process, which engages users online and matches them with an expert adviser if the user prefers to have human help. 

As for the startups’ team, during the pandemic, they had 19 people on board and that count is now up to 33. Meanwhile, the company is also on the lookout for new talents in 2021.