By Nancy Dahlberg
Asteya, a Miami-based insurtech startup focusing on widening access to disability insurance, announced today that it has raised $10 million. At the same, the company announced its public launch.
Investors include I2BF Ventures, Capital Factory, Cap Meridian Ventures, Northstar Ventures, Atrum, as well as angel investors Whitney Wolfe Herd and Geeta Sankappanavar.
Asteya was founded in 2018 by CEO Alex Williamson, who was a former chief brand officer at Bumble, and Hadi Radwan, who is Astreya’s chief product officer. They saw a need to focus on transforming disability insurance, which is typically offered through employers to cover unforeseen gaps in income from health issues, injuries or childbirth. But with a growing number of Americans self-employed – the so-called Gig Economy – there is a huge gap uncovered. Disability insurance was developed to protect workers against unforeseen gaps in income, related to health problems, injuries, or childbirth, yet the industry has not evolved.
Indeed, one out of three people will be unable to work due to wellness complications at some point before retiring, yet 50 million working adults do not have income protection, the company said. Another reality, the company would like to change: Women pay up to 50% more than men for traditional income insurance. Asteya's initial offering out of the gate is gender neutral.
"For so many of us, our income and wellness are intertwined — and yet there are not enough solutions for when the unexpected happens. Asteya is designed to empower people for the way we work and live today," said Williamson (pictured above).
Asteya’s application process is online – no more waiting days or weeks, users can get coverage within minutes, the company said. The startup’s first offering is geared toward gig economy workers, who can enroll in monthly plans that start at $6 a month. The company says it works with A-rated carriers including Munich Re and certain underwriters at Lloyd's.
"Asteya's approach delivers flexibility in protecting income, which for us likewise means creating a seamless user experience, improving speed to decision, and emphasizing affordability as our top priorities," Radwan said. "Our goal is to make Asteya plans accessible to as many people who need them as possible."
Asteya has about 40 employees distributed across three continents but about 12 of them work in Miami, Williamson said in an interview. The funding will help grow the sales, marketing and tech teams, she said. The company is currently posting five jobs in these areas.
The startup is continuing to work on enhancing the product offering, while also working hard to bring awareness and education to the public about the importance of income protection, Williamson said. "We aim to build a community to support our users in their mental, physical, and financial well-being."
This report was updated. Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter and email her at email@example.com