Meet Anthony Beilin, CEO and Co-Founder at Independent Worker Insurance Company: Collective Benefits

Anthony Beilin

Collective is a UK-based start-up aimed at tackling the “protection gap” created by the growing on-demand economy, where so-called self-employed workers often lack the basic benefits and protections they need to live and work. There are more than 6 million independent workers in the UK, yet 96% have no income protection and 93% have no health or critical injury cover.

Meanwhile, it costs over £1,000 for an on-demand business to recruit a new worker, yet 80% stay with their platform for less than a year. Our end-to-end digital insurance and benefits platforms are solving both issues with a holistic solution that fully supports this vulnerable workforce’s day-to-day wellbeing. From sick and injury pay, to family and compassionate leave, to mental health support and everyday savings, we’ve reimagined insurance and benefits to provide a much-needed safety net where it matters the most (and was previously lacking).

Collective provides insurance and benefits to more than 200,000 members across 18 countries and has partnered with some of the world’s fastest-growing on-demand platforms in mobility and logistics, including Stuart, Gigable, Gophr, Laundryheap and Weezy. We also raised a £3.3 million seed round in 2020 led by Stride.VC alongside Delin Ventures, Insurtech Gateway and several angels from executives at Uber, Deliveroo and Urban.
Collective Benefits | Insurtech Gateway Portfolio

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The idea for Collective Benefits came to me when I was working at Aviva as their Global Head of Innovation, after I suffered a back injury that put me out of work for six months. Thankfully, I continued to receive sick pay while I recovered, but I realised that, for the self-employed, an injury like that could be financially crippling.

And with over half of the workforce set to work flexibly in just a few years, this is a critical issue. Teaming up with Benjamin Hay, a former barrister and member of the leadership team at Virgin Unite, Sir Richard Branson’s entrepreneurial foundation, I founded Collective Benefits to provide independent workers with the financial protections they need and deserve.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Stay empathetic and stay focused. Independent workers have always faced a fragile financial existence but during the pandemic their unique vulnerabilities have really come to the forefront. One sobering statistic from the RSA reveals that 1 in 10 independent workers in the UK have had to go back to work before the end of their isolation after testing positive for Covid. That’s because, without sick pay, they couldn’t afford to do anything else.

In start-up life, with a million things going on, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day need to execute, but if you stay mindful of who you’re serving and why, it helps ground you and your business and keeps you focused on what’s important. At Collective, we try to speak to our end users – independent workers – as much as possible, with weekly interviews every Friday that the whole company can take part in. That means we’re constantly building our understanding of our users, and that helps us keep on coming up with new and better ways to protect them.

What can we hope to see from Collective Benefits in the future?

In 2020, we completely rewrote income protection to finally make insurance and benefits fit for independent work. In 2021, we’ll be rapidly rolling out this insurance across Europe, to provide as many independent workers as possible with the protections they need and deserve. Meanwhile we’ll also keep on innovating and refining our products to protect our members’ physical, mental and financial wellbeing in as many ways as we can, from extra tax support to pensions. In the next few years, we aim to be providing one million independent workers with protections – something no one has done before – and then moving onto the next ten million.