It’s a particularly beautiful English morning: sunny, cold, crisp. Having a kid in the house certainly changes the routine — making an omelette has never been so much fun till a pre-schooler decides to “help” mix the eggs! It’s moments like these that bring so much warmth to my heart, and are followed by absolute knee-bending terror: What if something were to happen to us?…

Having children is one of those inflection points that makes people think about their own mortality, and consequently about life insurance. Generally, human nature results in hyperbolic discounting of future events. Our present bias contributes significantly to our illusion that ageing, ill-health, or anything bad is far away. So having someone completely depend on us for their survival for the first time naturally brings our infallibility into question, and lifelong security becomes front of mind.

At Anthemis Exponential Ventures we invest in Financial Wellness. Security — not only financial, but also emotional — is one of the cornerstones of our mission-driven thesis. Insurance is a critical service to get that desired sense of security. However, as we’ve argued time and again, trying to make insurance exciting to drive engagement is a lost cause. UX might be sleek, the time it it takes to price and issue a policy might be reduced to seconds and distribution might be fully digital, but those are quickly becoming hygiene factors in the rapidly growing insurtech space. What we’re looking for as investors is product-led innovation and an outcome-driven approach, because what people are looking for is not another insurance product, but peace of mind.

Designed with this principle at its core, yulife deliver just that, and much more. Their goal is noble and ambitious, yet achievable: to enable happier, longer lives for onboarded employees. Oh, and while they’re at it, they also provide life insurance! It is this mission that differentiates yulife from other life insurance offerings in the market. When we first met the team, their commitment to helping people achieve holistic wellbeing across mind, body and soul was like finding someone that speaks your language in a foreign country. To say their purpose resonated with our thesis is simply an understatement.

yulife’s approach to enabling healthy habits is rooted in re-alignment of incentives. Their platform is built on gamification and behavioural economics principles. The biggest issue with shifting our habits towards actions that have long-term, lasting benefits, both financial and mental or physical, is the lack of an immediate feedback loop. It takes too long for the positive results of our good habits to actually manifest versus the quick pleasure derived from our bad habits (or inertia), and our short-termist nature wins almost every time. The genius behind yulife is transforming a perceived, long-term mind/body benefit (meditating or taking a walk) into an actual, immediate economic one (yucoin) in a fun, engaging manner that can also promote camaraderie in the workplace (team challenges). Moreover, the yulife narrative has continuity, engaging users more with the progress of time.

screen shots of the yulife app

Your friendly neighborhood giraffe looks after your wellbeing by motivating daily positive behaviour change

In the long term? yulife aims to provide real advice and positive behaviour modification through these gamified narratives and to deliver valuable insight to the platform’s users. Wouldn’t it be great to be advised when you’re better off skipping the gym and catching up on some sleep after a particularly hectic time at work instead of indiscriminately being pushed to reach your steps goal for the day?

From the thoughtfully constructed interface and seamless underwriting process, to the holistic approach and unwavering commitment to help people live life to the fullest, the yulife proposition is as unique as it is exciting. We are thrilled to support the team, alongside Localglobe and OurCrowd, as they continue to turn their mission into reality!