25 May 2021
ICON Secures ScaleUp funding for Anorak
London-based InsurTech startup Anorak has witnessed a surge in demand for its services in recent times. And has now, secured ScaleUp funding which brings their total funding to date to £14m, 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 Insurance, 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).”
Founded in 2017 by David Vanek and Vincent Durnez, Anorak offers 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, says David Vanek, CEO & co-founder of Anorak.
The latest funding round will be used to accelerate the InsurTechs 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.
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.
Nicky Cotter, Head of InsurTech at ICON Corporate Finance, and advisers to Anorak on the investment added: “Big congratulations to David and the team. Technology and innovation are reshaping the future of the insurance industry and demand for tech solutions has never been higher. There are still too many ways that insurance companies are difficult to do business with, so finding ways to combine digital data with analytics and human help means that Anorak can deliver powerful client experiences that are personalised, predictive and proactive - now that’s a complete gamechanger!
It’s no surprise that such a strong mix of tier 1 InsurTech investors from VCs, Strategics, Insurance Luminaries and FinTech Pioneers were all attracted by the opportunity to invest in Anorak and its visionary founders.”
Sanchit Dhote, Investment Manager at Outward VC, commented: "It’s not often we come across companies that have built a true technology moat and fostering real innovation in the way the product is engineered. The Anorak team have spent countless hours refining the tech and informing their ‘advisor’ models giving them a unique ability to understand and compute any individuals’ financial situation thereby offering instant product recommendations. Anorak are using a differentiated play book for their distribution strategy (B2B2C), and we believe that Anorak has the potential to become the go-to infrastructure for everyday insurance advice.”
Massive Global Problem
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.
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 fills 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.”
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 is 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 has a seamless omnichannel advice process, which engages users online and matches them with an expert adviser if the user prefers to have human help.
Anorak was also advised by the corporate team at law firm Ashfords LLP.