Bestow Raises $70 Million in Series C Funding

With $145 million in total funding to date, Bestow says it will launch innovative products, scale platform services, and accelerate growth into new distribution channels and partnerships.

(Image source: Bestow website.)

Bestow Inc. (Dallas), a startup digital life insurance carrier and distributor billing itself as the first full-stack life insurance company, has announced a $70 million Series C funding round. With $145 million in total funding secured to date, Bestow says it will launch innovative products, scale platform services, and accelerate growth into new distribution channels and partnerships. This funding round came from new and existing investors, including Breyer Capital, Valar Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Core Innovation Ventures, Morpheus Ventures and Sammons Financial.

Melbourne O’Banion, CEO, Bestow.

Since it launched three years ago, Bestow says it has built from the ground up products and technologies to expand the market for life insurance and reimage its distribution. The company says that, across direct-to-consumer, fintech and agent channels, 85 percent of Bestow applicants are new to life insurance, 70 percent of customers buy a policy on a mobile device in as little as 5 minutes, and 100 percent of customers instantly secure coverage without a phone screening, doctor’s visit or blood test.

“While the adoption of technology has transformed many financial services, the life insurance industry lags far behind in its ability to appeal to a digital consumer,” asserts Melbourne O’Banion, Co-founder and CEO, Bestow. “Bestow is a new breed of life insurer, built for future generations, with the ability to provide attractive products and services for our customers and partners. This funding allows us to propel our vision to scale protection to millions of underserved families.”

Jonathan Abelmann, Co-Founder and President, Bestow.

Bestow says its proprietary, full-stack platform will help propel growth into new InsurTech, carrier and partner channels in 2021. The company reports sales increasing more than 450 percent year-over-year, and it has invested in key growth initiatives, including its early December announcement of its acquisition of Centurion Life, a nationally licensed carrier. Bestow has also launched Protect API to enable partners to offer life insurance while retaining control of the customer experience. Bestow reports that it expanding into fintech and independent agent channels, and has hired over 70 new team members this year. This year’s new hires include Chief Distribution Officer Steve Robinson, Chief Financial Officer Claire Martin, Chief Technology Officer Chris Copeland, Chief Underwriter Jennifer Richards, Head of People Lizette Fleher, and Head of Product Adam Boender.

Enormous Opportunities for Growth

“We strategically built Bestow’s digital infrastructure and services to support virtually any life insurance product across any channel,” says Jonathan Abelmann, Co-Founder and President, Bestow. “Beyond direct-to-consumer, Bestow provides fintechs, agents, carriers and more with the necessary tools to integrate life insurance products into their businesses seamlessly. This creates enormous opportunities for growth and engagement never seen before in our industry.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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