Dec 2nd 2020

Super Startup Spotlight: YuLife

SUPERPOWER: Protecting, inspiring and rewarding yur life

From modern healthcare to smart FinTech and everything in between, we recently pulled together a list of the London startups raising the tempo in 2021. The Tempo team researched hundreds of companies, each with their own stand-out superpower.

Here we have it, London’s number one startup to work for – YuLife. They put wellbeing at the heart of everything they do – their mission, their members, and their people. Their place as number one on any candidate’s watch list is well deserved. And after chatting with CEO, Sammy Rubin, we really understood why. 

Hey Sammy! Nice to speak with you today. To kick things off, can you tell me a bit about what life at YuLife is like and what drives you as a business?

Life at YuLife is an adventure every day. But not only that, it’s part of a much bigger journey centred around our main purpose which is to inspire people to live their best lives. Until now, life insurance has been very much around what happens when people die and when people claim. We’ve got an amazing opportunity to really look after the lives of our members.  

“We believe in putting the life back into life insurance.”

We want that ethos to spread across our company culture, creating a purpose-driven company with strong values at the heart. We want to make a difference to millions of people and so we are an insurance company that puts people at the centre.

I’m a huge fan of what you’re doing at YuLife but for those people who don’t know, what exactly do you mean by “putting people at the centre of life insurance”?

YuLife is a new type of life insurance that incentivises and rewards healthy behaviours. We’ve created a currency of wellbeing called Yucoin. Each time our members complete everyday health activities, such as going for a walk or doing 10 minutes of meditation, they earn Yucoins. These can then be redeemed for Amazon vouchers or a variety of other things. 

On top of that, employees can get 24-hour access to GP appointments and prescriptions delivered to their door. Something which has been really helpful recently! This way we put people’s lives at the centre of our focus and not just what happens when they claim. 

It’s great that you really focus on your members. But within YuLife, what are the company values that you live by?

Firstly, I want to say that our values are very much shaped by our mascot. The mascot’s name is Yugi and he’s a giraffe! We chose a giraffe because it has the largest heart of any land animal and we felt this represented us, as everything at YuLife comes from a place of love and sharing that love.

We have values, which are generally highlighted by our slogan – “Love being you.” Every employee should love being themselves and love being here. One particular value that we talk a lot about is being present and how we can be present for one another. Ultimately, encouraging everyone to be more authentic and open, even in times of vulnerability, as it allows us to learn from each other.  

It sounds like you have some fairly unique ideas around values and culture. How have you maintained this as you’ve grown?

We love bringing on new people and we’re very proud of our onboarding process. First of all, before any candidate joins, they get sent a delivery of ten books. They don’t have to read them all but they aim to frame our values and purpose. Then, when they arrive, I do an induction with them where we talk about the founding story and our company values!

When you’re building a purpose-led business, it’s about finding, not just the right skill sets, but people with the right values and intentions. So we’re always on the lookout for people who are already passionate about our values and the importance of wellbeing in their lives and the workplace.

How have you found translating these values and culture from an office environment into the world of remote work?

We’ve worked hard at it and it’s been a real priority for us. We’re in a virtual world and we do believe in remote working, with some people in our team working across the UK as well as other countries. So a big focus has been to over-communicate, encouraging everyone to reach out to each other and offer support. Every Monday morning, we gather virtually to kick-off the week by sounding a gong and taking some deep breaths to centre ourselves together. 

And then on Thursday afternoons, we do shout outs for one another. Everyone is encouraged to pour out their gratitude and gratefulness to anyone in the company. All these things are a way of creating a sense of community and togetherness. 

Sounds great! Do you think you’ll go back to being a purely office-based company or do you think you’ve changed permanently?  

I think we’ve changed permanently. We now very much see ourselves working towards a remote-first culture, with an office available for people as well as for team meetings and physical bonding. We’re entering into a new reality and we believe we can create a sense of community and togetherness in a remote setting.

If you were to give one piece of advice to someone applying for a job at YuLife, or any other start-up for that matter, what would it be?

I think the most important thing is just to be yourself and to be authentic. That’s what we really, really value. Then we know that the skills you are gifted with you can share with the world in a way that’s being true to yourself, which is something that’s at the heart of our ethos. Show that you love being you and living your best life.  

Such great advice, thank you! One final question, what does 2021 look like for YuLife?

It’s quite simple really, it’s just about growing our footprint. The UK is the third-largest insurance market in the world and we’ve literally just touched the surface! We want as many organisations as possible to know about YuLife and to bring the whole experience of Yucoin and Yugi to as many employees as possible.

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Sammy! It was great to get an insight into your unique culture and values. Your dedication to putting everyone, your members and your people, at the centre is inspiring.

If you want to check out the other top startups to work for then head over here. Otherwise, stay tuned for our next deep dive into one of the top five of our London’s “Top Startups to work for in 2021”.