Asteya from Miami The disability insurance startup, targeting small business owners and gig workers, launched today with a $ 10 million startup round. Co-founder and CEO Alex Williamson, Bumble’s Chief Brand Officer, describes Asteya as an “income insurance” startup.
The announcement follows Bumble’s IPO last month and signals that former executives are already taking their money and betting that they can build the next unicorn themselves.
Williamson took medical leave while she was in Bumble. “If Bumble hadn’t been so generous with my medical vacation, I would have needed disability insurance,” she said.
According to Williamson, 51% of US employers offer disability insurance to their employees. The other 49% are left unprotected in case something happens to them. In today’s changing workforce, many of these people are small business owners and gig or freelancers. It is this class of workers that Asteya is targeting with its first product. It offers up to $ 500,000 in protection through a one-time payout for a monthly fee that starts at $ 6 per month.
When people get sick and need to take time out to get back on their feet, worrying about how to pay rent or other regular financial obligations can be a challenge in and of themselves.
“When your finances are wrong, you can’t focus on getting help,” Williamson told TechCrunch.
People who do not have health insurance have the option of applying for a state disability as soon as they are sick. The main difference is that disability insurance begins immediately with payment, while federal disability insurance is not paid for until government approval. However, the process can be cumbersome and is known to take several months. Many people who attempt to apply for federal disability on their own are often turned down and then need to see an attorney for approval. And after all that, payments – which are only a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month – begin six months after your approval.
Registering – and approving – disability insurance with Asteya only takes a few minutes, the company said. Like many other startups, Asteya sees an opportunity to insure humanity through its hassle-free approach in a sector known to be bureaucratic, Williamson said.
Women are often charged a substantial disability insurance premium compared to men – which makes them more expensive for companies – another unnecessary difficulty for female candidates. New York and Massachusetts are some of the states that banned the policy in 2019, and after their leadership, Asteya’s first product will be gender neutral, Williamson said.
The company has one MGA (Managing General Agent) and broker license as well as the MGA license are all offered via guidelines Insurance heavyweights Munich Re and Lloyd’s of London. In short, if the launch is unsuccessful, your coverage will not be affected.
Given Williamson’s contacts and founding team members, they were able to set up the funding ahead of launch, and Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble, is an angel investor.
Other investors are I2BF Ventures, Capital Factory, Cap Meridian Ventures, Northstar.vc, Atrum and the angel investor Geeta Sankappanavar.
The company plans to offer a product for longer-term disabilities as well as a product for people with pre-existing medical conditions.