wefox makes every employee a shareholder
Europe's leading insurtech wefox, has rewarded its workforce by making them all shareholders in the company.
The move followed wefox's US$650m record Series C investment round that resulted in the company raising the largest capital injection for any insurtech globally.
The funding round has also resulted in wefox reaching a valuation of $3bn - a remarkable feat for an insurtech that has been in operation only since 2014.
wefox founders Julian Teicke and Fabian Wesemann took measures into their own hands following the extraordinary round and awarded every member of the wefox staff share options worth €5000.
Speaking about the generous move that came as a surprise to wefox staff, CEO Julian Teicke said, “We couldn’t have achieved our success without the talent, knowledge, commitment and sheer hard work given by our colleagues around the world."
He continued, “Our record series C funding round is our success, collectively. Everyone has played a part in securing it. Now everyone is a shareholder in this incredible business.”
wefox share option buyback
The decison to reward wefox employees was a unanimous choice by wefox executives. Fabian Wesemann, CFO explained, “The question isn’t why have we made everyone a shareholder. The question is why wouldn’t we make everyone a shareholder? We have, since our inception, looked at ways in which we can reward all of our teams with shares. But it's not easy to make it work favourably for employees because share options are usually taxed in the same way as salary is taxed."
He continued, "They should be treated as capital gains which would be way more beneficial to employees. Governments in Europe must work fast to improve this crazy situation. In so doing, they will without doubt support innovation across the region.”
Teicke said it was important that employees benefitted as much as possible from the shareholder opportunity, so options were available to help them make the most of the move. “We weren’t prepared to wait for Governments to catch up. So as well as making everyone a shareholder, we also set up a buyback scheme too. It gives our colleagues the choice to keep or sell their options back to the business."
He added, “We want everyone at wefox to share in our success as we work to become the leading personal insurance company within the decade.”
Image credit wefox: Fabian Wesemann, CFO and Julian Teicke, CEO
Startup: iLife, the digital platform for insurance brokers
A relatively fresh insurtech on the scene, iLife was founded in 2019 by CEO Nelson Lee. Bringing together a team of engineers, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs, Lee wanted to help finance professionals increase revenue, decrease costs, and provide a better customer experience (CX).
iLife hones in on the life insurance market and aims to make buying and selling it as easy as possible. It accomplishes this through a unique digital platform featuring over 60 million collected data points from leading carriers. Product information can then be analysed by iLife and compared to others in the market.
This highly transparent process provides customers with more choice and therefore builds stronger broker-client relationships, the company says.
Automating insurance sales
For brokers, iLife states that its platform eliminates the need for ‘cold calls’ and the frequent rejection that such approaches generally entail. It offers the following benefits:
- Real-time lead referral systems
- Automated digital presentations of key information to clients
- Expedited underwriting
- Up to a 90% reduction of operating expenses
iLife’s platform is available in three distinct packages, each with different features and associated monthly cost:
iLife raises $4mn
The company’s seed funding round closed on 14 June and netted a total of $4mn. Led by prominent investment firm Foundation Capital and also featuring Cherubic Ventures, as well as others, this new capital brings iLife’s total raised to $5mn.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Business Journal, Lee said of the company’s $99.99 Professional package that it was “cheaper than hiring 50 software developers. We don’t want to talk to a bot when we buy a policy. Neither do you want to get stuck with a person coming to your home wearing a suit. Neither is enjoyable.”
“We don’t ever interact with consumers. Our software is sold directly to insurance agencies and brokerages. If the website has a browsing capability, and there is a live chat, that is likely powered by us.”
Lee’s comments reflect both the power of modern automation tech and the shifting consumer preference for fast, digital, and online services. As the development of this form of CX continues, brokers who stick rigidly to traditional methods could find themselves increasingly at a disadvantage.
Image source: iLife