Empathy Announces $47M Series B Funding Round Led by Index Ventures

The Series B funding, participated in by major VC firms and global life insurers, will be used to expand Empathy’s services and cover new industries and regions nationwide.

(Image source: Empathy.)

Empathy, a New York-based provider of a platform designed to helps families navigate the emotional and logistical challenges of loss, has announced a $47 million Series B round led by Index Ventures with participation from General Catalyst, Entrée Capital, Latitude (sister fund of existing investor LocalGlobe), and Brewer Lane, plus strategic investments from major life insurance carriers Allianz, MassMutual Ventures, MetLife, New York Life, Securian Financial, and Sumitomo, bringing Empathy’s total capital raised to $90 million.

Ron Gura, Co-Founder and CEO, Empathy.

“Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of life’s most challenging moments, yet there has been a problematic gap in the traditional support systems and benefits that barely touches on what families need. Empathy continues to set new standards for supporting families through grief and loss,” comments Ron Gura, Co-Founder and CEO of Empathy. “We are honored to provide help in a sustainable, scalable way by working with employers and insurance carriers to become the new standard for modern benefits. Embracing empathy in the workplace is good for families, good for business, and good for our society as a whole.”

“Our relationship with Empathy dates back to 2021 and as their first carrier partner, we were early in seeing the significant potential for how their solution can positively impact the life insurance industry and provide further support to grieving families,” comments Joel Albarella, SVP, Head of New York Life Ventures. “Ron [Gura] and the team are world-class, and this latest funding round underscores our excitement for both Empathy’s growth and future potential as technology continues to enable profound shifts in the beneficiary experience.”

Joel Albarella, SVP, Head of New York Life Ventures.

In the past three years, Empathy has made a full range of assistance with grief, estate settlement, probate and more available to 5 million employees and 35 million policyholders across the U.S. This support comes at no cost to families, provided either through their life insurance benefits or coupled with bereavement leave through an employer. Empathy reports that the Series B funding will be used to expand Empathy’s services and cover new industries and regions nationwide.

“Empathy’s approach to grief and loss support is defining the emerging compassionate economy, built around anticipating the needs of employees outside of work,” comments

Danny Rimer, Partner, Index Ventures.

Danny Rimer, Partner, Index Ventures. “Empathy stands at the forefront, integrating heartfelt support into the employee journey with a solution that helps businesses and insurance carriers of all sizes to invest in their human capital and do better for all.”

Unsupported bereavement affects stress levels, productivity, mental health, and workplace morale. While 90 percent of employers today do offer bereavement leave, 60 percent still only provide up to three days of leave, even though loss continues to affect employees for more than a year after they return to work.

“Our goal is not only to support and advocate for families going through bereavement, but to shift the way everyone thinks of and approaches loss,” Gura adds. “Bringing loss and grief out of the shadows and giving it its rightful place as an important and normal part of life is vital. Our Series B is an important step on our path toward paying the attention and care it deserves and giving every bereaved family everywhere the support they need.”

Juliane Kowalski, SVP, MetLife Group Benefits.

Empathy characterizes the strategic investment from six of the world’s largest life insurance companies as a strong signal that the industry sees this cultural shift toward an emphasis on showing up for people when they need it the most. Empathy describes itself at the forefront of the transformation in the insurance industry that emphasizes improving the user experience and adding value for beneficiaries and businesses, while also showing true care and compassion for families.

Taking Employee Experience to the Next Level

“As the leading group life insurer in the U.S., we are committed to delivering solutions that enable our customers to ensure that their employees are cared for with group life insurance,” comments Juliane Kowalski, SVP, Group Benefits, MetLife. “Times of loss are one of the most difficult moments and it’s critical that we’re there to help beneficiaries in their time of need, both emotionally and financially. MetLife’s group life solutions, which include bespoke bereavement care from Empathy allow us to take the employee experience to the next level and ensure that beneficiaries have the holistic care that they need.”

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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 AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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