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Britain's YuLife raises $70 million as investors back 'insurtech'

·1-min read

LONDON (Reuters) - British insurance startup YuLife has raised $70 million led by Berlin venture fund Target Global, as investors bet "insurtech" can streamline a labor-intensive industry.

The early stage funding values YuLife at 250 million pounds ($347.50 million), YuLife CEO Sammy Rubin said on Wednesday.

YuLife provides group life insurance policies in Britain including extras such as virtual family doctor appointments and health incentives. Employees earn shopping vouchers for time spent exercising or meditating.

YuLife, whose clients include Capital One and Co-op, has seen gross written premiums rise by more than tenfold in a year, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"COVID has been a real accelerant in terms of the growth," Rubin said. "Companies and people were much more aware of mortality. There's much more focus on providing life insurance."

The funding will enable YuLife to offer individual policies to existing group customers and to expand into international markets, Rubin added.

Insurtech, a subsector of financial technology - or fintech - has been seeing rapid growth as investors look to back start-ups, with the traditional insurance industry considered slow to change and to adopt technology.

Global insurtech funding reached a record $2.55 billion in the first quarter, a rise of 180% from a year earlier, according to insurance broker Willis Towers Watson.

Wefox last month raised $650 million from investors led by Target Global, in what the German insurer called a record-breaking round for an insurtech company, which valued the business at $3 billion.

Other investors in YuLife's Series B funding round were Eurazeo and Latitude, YuLife said in a statement.

They join existing investors Creandum, Notion Capital, Anthemis, MMC Ventures and OurCrowd.

($1 = 0.7194 pounds)

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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