InsureTech Ethos Expands C-Suite with first CPO, CFO, CSO and Chief Actuary
Ethos, an InsureTech firm, has strengthened its executive bench with three external hires and a promotion to expand its C-Suite, following an investment round totalling USD300 million that took its valuation over USD2.7 billion.
Jennifer Liu has joined as Chief Product Officer, after almost 17 years at Google. Anan Kashyap, a veteran of high-growth startups Kayak, GrubHub, and most recently CFO at Poshmark, has joined Ethos as its first CFO. Troy Thompson has joined as Ethos's first Chief Actuary, bringing experience from Genworth, USAA, and most recently Legal & General America. David Zhang, who joined Ethos in 2018 as VP of Finance & Strategy, has been named Chief Strategy Officer.
“We've been able to grow rapidly in part by anticipating the skill sets we need to scale,” CEO Peter Colis said. “Life insurance is a complicated product and business, but Jenn is an expert when it comes to building complex products. Her experience building and scaling key innovative product lines at Google made her the perfect choice for us at this point in Ethos's trajectory.”
In almost 17 years at Google, Liu led product management for diverse areas including Lens, Augmented Reality, Billing & Payments, Mobile, Search, and Shopping Ads where she led the team in building an entirely new multi-billion dollar revenue shopping ads business from scratch. “As a mother of four children, Ethos's mission to make protecting families easy, affordable, and accessible really spoke to me,” Liu said. “I fell in love with the team's positive energy and clear thinking, and the proprietary technology the team has built has so many potential applications to expand the addressable market and help more people - it's a really exciting time to join.”
“Scale is what will enable us to meet our goal of insuring the next million families, and the next million after that,” CEO Peter Colis said. “Anan's experience as CFO of several fast-growing start-ups is exactly what we need at this point in our journey, and Troy brings unparalleled industry expertise that will enable us to continue transforming the way insurance is designed and underwritten. Since joining us three years ago, David has been a huge asset to our team. We're very fortunate to have them all on board during this period of immense growth.”
In five years as CFO at Poshmark, Kashyap oversaw the company's growth from a private start-up, focused on resale women's clothing, to a leading social marketplace for new and second-hand style with more than 80 million registered users. He built a foundation of operational discipline, culminating in five consecutive quarters of profitability and an IPO. He was responsible for the company's overall strategy and finances, including fundraising, forecasting, investor relations, legal strategy, and cash management. Previously, he served as Vice President of Strategic Finance, Investor Relations, and Corporate Development at GrubHub, where he helped launch third-party delivery services and execution of the IPO and follow-on offering. Prior to GrubHub, Kashyap served as Vice President of Finance at KAYAK, where he guided the company's internal execution for its IPO and subsequent acquisition by Booking Holdings.
“Ethos is at a fascinating point in its trajectory, having proven the efficacy of its proprietary tech stack and its thesis on product-market fit,” Kashyap said. “I'm excited to join this world class team and help accelerate its progress toward insuring the next million families.”
Thompson served as Legal and General America's Chief Actuary where his responsibilities spanned actuarial, product, underwriting, reinsurance, and data science. Prior to joining LGA, he was with USAA, where he led life and investment company operations before joining the office of enterprise transformation. As Senior VP of life products at Genworth Financial, Thompson led the development of term and UL portfolios that significantly increased sales while breaking ground on new reinsurance structures to increase capital efficiency.
“I've worked as a long-time partner to Ethos, so I'm thrilled to be formally joining the team to help further its mission. Their passion for their customers and their collaborative approach with their partners are creating unique opportunities to insure more people in a responsive, yet sustainable way. I look forward to continuing our skyrocketing growth with the team now that I'm onboard,” Thompson said.
Zhang joined Ethos in 2018. He was responsible for building out the finance, strategy and business operations, accounting, legal, people, and business analytics functions from scratch, and guided Ethos through three equity funding rounds. Prior to joining Ethos, he was an investor with Empyrean Capital Partners and the Yale Investments Office and earned his MBA at Stanford. In his new role as CSO, Zhang will focus on business strategy, new initiatives and deeper analysis for Ethos.
The expansion of the executive team comes just weeks after a USD100 million round from Softbank Vision Fund 2 that brought Ethos's valuation to USD2.7 billion and total funds raised to over USD400 million. SoftBank joined an all-star cast of investors including Sequoia Capital; Accel; GV (formerly Google Ventures); General Catalyst; Jay-Z's Roc Nation; and the investment vehicles of stars Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr.
Ethos has been growing at a significant rate and increasing its year-over-year momentum. Revenue and users have each grown by more than 600 percent year-over-year, and the company expects to issue USD20 billion of life insurance coverage in 2021, surpassing all InsureTech competitors. In addition to its revenue and user growth, the company has surpassed USD100 million in annualised gross profit. The company has offices in Austin, San Francisco, and Singapore, and plans to double its employee count by 2021 year end.