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Michael Konialian. (Photo: Modern Life)

Life Health > Running Your Business > Selling

Web-Based Life, Health and Annuity Distributor Raises $15M

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What You Need to Know

  • The lead investor is Thrive Capital, an investment firm founded by Joshua Kushner.
  • CEO Michael Konialian previously helped CoverWallet set up an insurance distribution business aimed at agents.
  • The company offers products from insurers such as AIG, Assurity, John Hancock, Lincoln, Nationwide, Prudential, Symetra and U.S. affiliates of Legal & General.

Modern Life is getting $15 million in cash it can use to set up a web-based life, health annuity brokerage aimed at advisors.

The New York-based startup is licensed to operate throughout the United States, including in New York state, and it will begin setting up relationships with many different large insurers, not just one or two.

The company has AIG, Assurity, John Hancock, Lincoln, Nationwide, OneAmerica, Prudential, Symetra, Mutual of Omaha’s United of Omaha unit,  and U.S. affiliates of Legal & General on its issuer list.

Many web-based insurance agencies and distributors focus on offering relatively simple products, such as term life insurance, or accident insurance.

Michael Konialian, Modern Life’s CEO, said his company will have a broad product menu.

“In addition to life insurance, we are currently investing in building our capabilities in other underwritten financial products, like disability, long-term care and annuities,” Konialian said.

What It Means

Web-based retailers and distributors are growing up.

You may get more tools you can use to help your clients, and face more competition for your clients’ business.

The Founders

Konialian, the Modern Life CEO, began setting up that company in February 2021, in “stealth mode.”

Before that, he spent three years at CoverWallet, an insurance quote service for small businesses. He built a division aimed at insurance agents there.

Konialian has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton. For two years, he worked at the U.S. State Department. When he left, he was trying to secure nuclear materials worldwide.

He left that post to get a master’s degree in business from Harvard, and he then spent about four years as a consultant at McKinsey.

Jack Arenas, the Modern Life chief technology officer and co-founder, has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

He began his career working as a software engineer and analyst at companies like Amazon, Goldman Sachs and First Round Capital.

Immediately before he joined Modern Life, he spent seven years as a co-founder, chief technology officer and advisor at Petal, a web-based credit provider.

The Modern Life head of distribution is Dan Pierson, who previously was a founder of LegacyShield and of Independent Life Brokerage.

The Money

Thrive Capital — the investment firm founded by Joshua Kushner that helped start Oscar Health — was the lead investor in Modern Life’s new, “seed stage” round of funding.

The investor group also includes 12 people who have helped form other startups, such as Hippo and Reddit, Modern Life says.

Ryan Pripstein, the head of research at Thrive, has a seat on the Modern Life board.

The Company

Modern Life says it will offer modern sales and support technology, including instant quoting, digital application systems, and a dashboard that will help agents and advisors manage appointments and sales commissions.

The company will also offer the kind of case support, advanced sales strategy support, medical underwriting support and client advocacy services that a traditional general agency might provide.

Michael Konialian. (Photo: Modern Life)