Tech start-up plans to shake up insurance market after raising $75m

A technology start-up, which plans to shake up the insurance industry with a new digital offering, has raised £75m in funding during its first few months of operating.

Oscar, a New York-based health insurer, says it is bringing a consumer-centric approach to a market where, it claims, ‘the existing players don’t care about satisfying the customer’.

The business only launched in October, and says it has no plans to expand beyond New York, yet it already claims to have thousands of customers and has been valued at $340m.

“Our ethos and mission is to create a good consumer experience,” said co founder Joshua Kushner in an interview with the New York Times. “We wanted to create an experience like having a doctor in the family.”

The start-up is focused on design and technology but it is also keen to provide customers with helpful functionality online, such as a search engine that allows patients type in their symptoms and then steers them to suitable doctors.

Mr Kushner said these services are intended to help customers to view the insurance company as more than a middleman. “People just don’t have a relationship with this kind of entity,” he said.

Oscar has received funding from a group of investors which include the Founders Fund, Thrive  Capital, Khosla Ventures and General Catalyst Partners.