yulife: Impact 25 2019 profile
March 4, 2019
This is a summary of the profile which first appeared in the Oxbow Partners InsurTech Impact 25 2019.
yulife was founded in 2016 by a team led by a former CEO of PruProtect in the UK (now trading as VitalityLife). It is based in London and sells its products B2B2C via employers, normally SMEs. The firm offers accidental death and full life cover at a fixed monthly cost. Policies are underwritten by AIG.
yulife has created a ‘gamified’ platform to engage policyholders and encourage healthy living. It looks very different to the traditional life insurance distribution platform with vibrant colours and cartoonish imagery. Features include a company leaderboard, where winners of challenges such as the longest ‘streak’ of activity are recorded. Activity leads to points, which can be redeemed with a range of suppliers. Activity is recorded via feeds from tracking devices.
The yulife team also aims to promote healthier company cultures alongside individual changes. It notes that one company using its app has already started to have walking meetings. Gamification expertise is provided by members of the team who have experience in the gambling industry.
“We were searching for a benefit that was both engaging and encouraged wellbeing and found that yulife ticked all the boxes.”
Joshua Van Raalte, CEO of Brazil, an international communications agency
Company in action
Client situation: As a recruitment firm, BrighterBox understood the importance of investing in its people. It had already started to think about how to support its team but was struggling to find a solution that had a holistic view of wellbeing which included the mental as well as physical side. It also wanted to encourage its people to be well by rewarding them for doing simple healthy things like walking and meditating regularly.
What they did: BrighterBox saw that yulife met all of its requirements and shared their ethos for holistic wellbeing. It purchased yulife lite for its employees.
What impact it had: According to Brigherbox’s employees, not only has yulife helped to increase general levels of wellbeing in the office, an employee leader board and regular challenges have also helped to improve teamwork.
The Oxbow Partners View
yulife is one of only a handful of InsurTechs in the life insurance space.
It is all the rarer for being a Distribution InsurTech; most life start-ups are Supplier InsurTechs (e.g. data & analytics, operations). The success of Vitality shows there is scope for life insurers (and, given that Vitality now also has a South African motor insurance product, perhaps all insurers) to innovate the proposition and engage customers – the brand has phenomenal customer engagement compared to other insurers. We see this as yulife’s opportunity: its combination of legacy-free technology and high calibre management team means that it will innovate fast and should discover how to engage customers even better than incumbents.
But arguably yulife’s most important weapon is the ability to organise itself around flat, multi-disciplinary product teams, which experiment and execute in lockstep. We explain in other parts of this report that agile product development is not something that siloed corporate structures lend themselves to.