Welcoming Anorak to the Outward portfolio
The Outward VC team is pleased to announce our latest investment in Anorak Technologies – the first of its kind fully automated life insurance advice platform. Outward led the £5m investment round joined by Kamet Ventures, Triple Point Ventures and leading angel investors from the insurance industry including Nic Kohler (Ex-CEO of Hollard Insurance) and Paul Evans (Chairman of Allianz and Board Member of Bupa and Swiss RE Europe).
The Anorak platform enables any distributor to sell life insurance products at scale, giving their customers instant access to personalised, regulated and impartial protection advice. This funding round marks an important milestone in the Anorak journey – read on to hear CEO & co-founder David Vanek’s take on the team, their ambitions, and the plan ahead.
Tell us about the team behind Anorak and where it all began?
Myself and my co-founder Vincent Durnez founded Anorak back in 2017. Before Anorak, I spent a number of years building start-ups in the digital consumer space, most recently at MADE.com as group CFO where I helped set up and scale the business across 6 geographies. Vincent on the other hand is a seasoned Chief Technology Officer who has been building technology in the insurance space for the last 15 years for start-ups, scale-ups and large organisation like AXA.
Together we’ve brought together a team of tech, design and insurance experts – all slightly obsessed ‘anoraks’ – who are passionate about building a new way to buy life insurance.
Why this product needs to exist ?
Over nine million families in the UK (and 37 million in the US!) face the risk of financial collapse when the breadwinner dies. It’s a massive global problem and one that has been brought to the forefront of many families suffering the loss of a loved one due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Today, around 80% of life insurance products are sold offline through financial advisers – a service that is not scalable and typically only targets affluent individuals, leaving an entire part of the market underserved and unprotected. That’s why we started Anorak, the world’s first fully automated, regulated life insurance advice platform that makes it possible to scale protection advice to an unprecedented number of consumers, regardless of their net worth or proximity to a financial adviser.
Why are you excited about the market opportunity?
We believe life insurance is a force for good, yet the entire protection market, from insurers to traditional distributors, is dated, complicated and incapable of closing the protection gap. Insurers are stuck in the dark ages: legacy systems are blocking innovation; and incumbent distribution networks stand in the way of building customer experiences that are truly digital first. This creates a massive opportunity in the UK and in many other geographies to redefine the way people access protection insurance and buy the right cover.
What are your main priorities over the next year?
Anorak’s priorities for the next 12 months will be to accelerate partnerships with new distributors, giving more people access to Anorak’s regulated advice platform. Existing relationships include Starling Bank, Clearscore and Trussle to name a few.
What’s the long-term vision?
The Anorak vision is to build the world’s smartest life insurance companion. This will involve international expansion into North America, Asia and some European countries.
On that journey, Anorak will deepen the value it brings to clients by integrating even more data including health data, insurers underwriting intelligence, open finance data, etc thereby redefining the future of insurance advice: embedded, instant, always-on, and omni-channel.
Read more about the funding round led by Outward VC on UKTN here.