Japan’s Toyro brings life insurance online, raises funds from CyberAgent Ventures


See the original article in Japanese

Toyro, a startup which operates an online insurance products platform called Insnext, announced that it has raised funds from CyberAgent Ventures, a figure in the tens of millions yen.

Toyro is a startup founded by former members from Zynga Japan. They have formerly launched comap, a curation service based on location information. Their mission was to fill people’s information gap in some way, and after researching many industries, they found that a particularly severe information gap in the life insurance and pharmaceutical industry.

The CEO, Kazuhisa Sase utilized his network in the financial industry that he built while working for Opt, an e-marketing company. Subsequently this launched a new life insurance service.

Toyro had been running the service without having raised any funds. They were approach by CyberAgent Ventures only 15 minutes after their first service location curation service “comap” was launched. And they got along right away. Subsequently, and as mentioned above, Toyro would go on to raise tens of millions of yen from CyberAgent Ventures as they launch this new service, Insnext.

In Japan, life insurance is considered as a kind of service where customers feel they are talked into buying. But Toyro believes that it is important for customers to compare different insurance products on their own and choose the best one to fit their own life plan. Insnext is a service reflecting that vision.


One of the more interesting functions provided on Insnext is a life simulator. Users enter their annual earnings, their amount of savings, and how many children they have. Then a projected chart of their future savings and some financial advice will appear, as well as their expected lifetime earnings and expenses. In addition, insurance services needed to prepare for potential risks will also be displayed. And on the next page, users can compare different kinds of life insurances.

Typically when an insurance sales representative suggest a product to customers, they start with laying out on an ideal life plan with the customer. Therefore, Insnext focuses on their life simulator as a way to lead users to the best choice.

Regarding their monetization plans, Sase, the CEO of Toyro, tells us;


In the insurance industry, you need a license to sell services/products. We are currently studying to attain this license. Insurance products are hard to sell without having face-to-face communication with a customer. […] We plan to help users narrow down their choices, so we can then collect customers on Insnext, and proceed with final contracts in partnerships with real insurance agencies.

I think more insurance companies will intensify their online platforms, so it could become normal for people to look for insurance on the internet. In order to stay ahead of this trend, we will start our insurance agent business in 2014. In April we aim to start working using agency agreements with a few insurance companies.

Focus on users

Existing insurance companies have a tendency to focus on selling the most profitable products possible. But Toyro aims to focus on users and operate their service according to their mission.

Someday, I’d like hear our customers to say “I started thinking about my life plan seriously because of Insnext."

By building a user-focused service as part of its new system, Insnext aims to earn a place in the insurance industry where it can hopefully thrive.