Insurtech startup Breathe Life closes $4.5 mln seed financing

Breathe Life, a Montréal-based provider of consumer-focused solutions for the insurance industry, has raised $4.5 million in a seed-stage financing.

The round was led by Diagram Ventures and joined by Real Ventures, both Canadian venture capital firms. The company is also backed by angel investors.

Founded in 2017, Breathe Life provides life and health insurance carriers, distribution organizations and advisors with white-label solutions to find, convert and retain customers.

Led by CEO Ian Jeffrey, formerly a Real venture partner and co-founder of FounderFuel, Breathe Life will use the round’s proceeds to accelerate product development and fuel growth in North America.

Photo: Breathe Life’s team.


Breathe Life Secures $4.5 Million CAD to Modernize How Life Insurance is Bought and Sold, Helping Providers and Advisors Reach and Engage Underserved Markets

Seed Funding from Diagram Ventures and Real Ventures Will Accelerate Product Development and Drive Growth in U.S. and Canada

MONTRÉAL – February 26, 2019 – Breathe Life, a provider of consumer-centric digital solutions for the insurance industry, has raised $4.5M CAD in a seed round led by Diagram Ventures with participation from Real Ventures. Breathe Life powers life & health carriers, distribution organizations, and advisors with white-label solutions to quickly and more cost-effectively find and convert new customers.

The distribution of individual insurance products in North America, such as life, critical illness, disability, and travel remains largely unchanged since the industry’s inception. Long sales cycles and a focus on higher-net-worth individuals have led to a steady decline in the purchase of new policies, leaving millions of middle-market customers exposed and millions of dollars in insurance revenue untapped. Moreover, consumer buying habits – especially among millennials – have changed dramatically, contributing to the widening gap between providers and potential customers. Breathe Life bridges this gap by modernizing how companies distribute their products – both directly and through their advisor networks – to reach and meaningfully engage a much broader potential customer base.

“The life insurance industry faces distribution challenges as more consumers expect a fast and seamless digital buying experience,” said Ian Jeffrey, Co-Founder and CEO at Breathe Life. “At the same time, the opportunity for providers to target and engage with consumers on their own terms has never been greater. Breathe Life helps distributors tap into vast and underserved markets with digital solutions that make it more efficient and cost-effective both to find and acquire new customers and nurture existing ones.”

In just over one year of operation, Breathe Life has gained significant traction with insurance providers and proven its model. Customer and investor, National Bank, realized an 18% increase in sales and a 26% increase in first-year premiums while decreasing the cost of customer acquisition by 33% – in just 13 weeks of using Breathe Life.

“We believe that fundamental trends, like mobile, micro-segmentation, the explosion of data, and changing customer expectations, have just begun to transform the life & health insurance industry, making it possible to cost-effectively address market opportunities that were not viable only a few years ago,” said Francois Lafortune, Founder and CEO of Diagram Ventures. “Breathe Life is helping insurance carriers and distributors to get ahead of the pack, taking advantage of the latest technologies to win market shares vs. traditional competitors and to compete head-to-head with technology-first new entrants. The experienced team of entrepreneurs and operators at Breathe Life have made incredible progress to date, and we look forward to supporting the company as it continues to grow.”

Breathe Life was founded by Arach Tchoupani, Jean-Nicholas Hould, Sébastien Malherbe, and CEO Ian Jeffrey, four serial entrepreneurs with extensive experience launching, operating, and scaling innovative technology companies in Canada, Silicon Valley and New York City.

John Stokes, Partner at Real Ventures, added: “The importance of life insurance, experienced firsthand by members of the founding team, can’t be understated. Ian and his team’s mission to enable the coming generation of middle-market consumers to educate themselves about life insurance and purchase online was truly compelling. We also have the benefit of knowing Ian for many years and his ability to bring an idea to market, to motivate top quality teams, and to build a strong brand has never failed to impress.”

For more information about Breathe Life digital solutions for the life insurance industry, please visit: Breathe Life is also hiring – current job openings are available here, and interested parties can also contact us at

The Breathe Life platform delivers a modern, customer-centric experience with tools and analytics that are reshaping the insurance industry and driving business growth. By transforming the distribution of life insurance to digital, Breathe Life enables consumers to purchase products on their own from the comfort of home and financial advisors to reach and engage new audiences more quickly and easily. With significant financial backing from Diagram Ventures, Real Ventures and a variety of angel investors, our funding portfolio gives us a unique advantage in the industry. At our core, we are building technology that brings financial security to all people, whoever and wherever they are. Learn more about Breathe Life at or on our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Diagram is a launchpad for the most exciting ventures in insurance, financial services, and healthcare. With our long-term perspective, we can make an unmatched commitment to entrepreneurs with our depth of both capital and expertise. Combined with the support of our highly distinguished investor base, Diagram offers early-stage companies a unique platform to think big, launch in Canada, and pursue global success. For more information, please visit

Real is Canada’s most active early-stage VC and a driving force behind emerging tech ecosystems. Established in 2007, they have invested in over 200 companies across five funds, with $330M under management. The firm invests throughout the life-cycle of early-stage companies and provides stage-appropriate capital and support for the founders it backs. Real believes that VCs should play a role in accelerating the creation of world-class tech ecosystems by providing support beyond the companies for whom it writes cheques. It’s this collaborative mindset that inspires Real to launch initiatives that lay, or build upon, the foundations of rapidly growing tech hubs in Canada, and wherever else the firm may go.