Detroit-based Signal Advisors Raises $16 Million to Build End-to-End Platform for Independent Financial Advisors
April 22, 2021 [DETROIT, MI] — Signal Advisors, a tech-enabled distributor of annuities and life insurance, today announced a $10 million Series A led by General Catalyst, which closed in December 2020. The Detroit-based fintech startup also finalized a $6 million seed financing round in July of 2020, with participation from Detroit Venture Partners, Ludlow Ventures, General Catalyst, Mercury Fund, Annox Capital, SV Angel and others, raising $16 million in total to build out an end-to-end platform for independent financial advisors.
Signal will use this new financing to invest in extending the platform from a specialized platform for annuities, to a true end-to-end platform for the independent financial advisor.
“We’ve seen a lot of capital investment in technologies that promise to replace advisors. But the bigger opportunity, by far, is to build technology that empowers advisors,” says Robert Mylod, managing partner of Annox Capital.
Signal Advisors recently welcomed Robert Mylod to their board of directors. Mylod also serves on the boards of public companies including Booking Holdings, Vroom, Dropbox, and Redfin, in addition to other private companies.
“We started with annuities, because advisors simply don't have great options for this technology today,” said Pat Kelly, Co-Founder and CEO of Signal Advisors. “But that's just the beginning. We want to provide advisors with an integrated platform. Whatever their needs, whatever their clients need, the technology and service can provide a seamless experience.”
Today, Signal Advisors’ unique business model features:
- User-friendly technology that simplifies the sale of annuities, including licensing & contracting, new business submission, in-force policy management, 1-click annual reviews, case design, commission management, and more.
- Faster access to capital through Signal Advisor’s TruePay solution, which tracks commissions in real-time, and advances payout ahead of carrier payments. Once an advisor submits the client paperwork required to buy an annuity, Signal pays commissions within 24 hours, rather than waiting the standard 30+ days for the carrier payment.
Signal Advisors debuted its platform in August of 2020 and is led by its co-founders, CEO Patrick Kelly, CTO Kevin O’Hara, and President Jacob Cohen.
“Financial services are all becoming tech-enabled, and they are converging,” said Cohen. “In the future, you might rely on your independent financial advisor for help with estate planning, taxes, insurance. They could sell you a term life policy and refinance your mortgage. Technology will make it commonplace for one trusted advisor to provide their client with great service across many offerings.”
Kelly began his career as a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual, until transitioning to his independent advisory firm Kelly Capital Partners. He went on to found insurtech startup RepPro, a pioneer in electronic applications for annuities and life insurance, that was acquired by RetireUp in 2018. O’Hara is a veteran software architect and industry-leading technologist, most recently leading software development at Bluewater Technologies and VC-backed SaaS company LevelEleven. Cohen brings his experience as a tech investor, having spent the past 10 years as a partner at Detroit Venture Partners.
About Signal Advisors
Detroit-based Signal Advisors is a new tech-enabled distributor of annuities and life insurance. Their end-to-end platform for financial advisors and insurance producers simplifies licensing & contracting, new business submission, case design, marketing analytics, compliance and more. Additionally, the platform pays agent commissions within one day of application submission, at no cost. To learn more, visit signaladvisors.com. For more information on career opportunities, visit https://jobs.lever.co/SignalAdvisors.
About General Catalyst
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Lemonade, Livongo, Oscar, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com.
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