Alan introduces Alan Blue, a high-end health insurance product

French startup Alan has been mostly focused on its main health insurance product — a standard package for companies of all sizes and shapes. The company is launching a second offering on this market with Alan Blue.

Companies can now choose between two levels of insurance — Alan Green and Alan Blue. Alan Green is the existing health insurance product with a new name. It still costs the same and offers the same level of coverage. Alan Blue is a higher-end product with better coverage for companies who want to retain talent using better benefits.

French employees automatically get basic coverage from the national healthcare system. But companies also need to provide a health insurance from a private company to pay for part of the health expenses. It’s a hybrid system with a strong legal framework.

This is where Alan comes along as your employer signs a deal with an insurance company to cover all their employees. Usually, insurance companies provide multiple offerings. But Alan has historically focused on a single plan.

With Alan Green, you get good coverage starting at $59 (€50) per month per employee if you’re under 36 years old. It gets more expensive if you’re over 36, and then over 45, and then over 56 years old. Plans for employees over 56 cost $100 per month (€85).

Companies have to pay at least 50 percent of those plans. The rest is deducted from your pay. Some companies also choose to pay 100 percent of everyone’s health insurance to show that they really care about their employees.

Employees can also choose to cover their spouse and kids with Alan. Plans for a second adult cost the same as plans for employees. And you can cover all your kids for a $47 flat monthly fee (€40).

While you won’t pay anything if you see a normal medial practitioner, Alan Green couldn’t necessarily cover an expensive pair of glasses or extensive dental work.

Alan Blue is a second option for companies looking for a premium health insurance product. Companies now have to decide between the two plans for the entire staff. You can’t let employees decide between one plan or the other.

Alan Blue starts at $82 per month (€70) for young employees and also gets more expensive depending on the age of the employee. While there’s only a €20 difference between the two offerings for employees under 36 years old, the price difference is higher the older you get. Similarly, you can cover all your kids for a slightly more expensive $64 flat monthly fee (€55).

For companies that choose to fully pay for health insurance, it depends if you’re willing to spend more to provide better insurance. But some companies only pay part of the health insurance package. Employees will end up paying more if their companies switch from Alan Green to Alan Blue.

“Overall, companies that are growing rapidly tend to invest a lot for their employees and switch to Alan Blue,” co-founder and CEO Jean-Charles Samuelian told me. “We already noticed that with companies in our existing clients. Some companies are also switching to Alan because they wanted something very high end before switching.”

Alan still plans to target small companies. The startup thinks that small companies are underserved by big insurance companies and tend to pay more for health insurance.

Alan Green is not going away anytime soon. Samuelian thinks you can combine Alan Green with Alan Map to find the perfect doctor around you and get fully reimbursed.

Alan Blue is already available to selected Alan customers. All companies will be able to sign up in September. You can already view all pricing and insurance details on Alan’s website.

Valimail makes it harder for hackers to impersonate your boss over email

Valimail, a company that focuses on preventing fake and fraudulent emails from reaching your inbox, today announced that it is extending its anti-impersonation platform with a couple of new features that will make it even harder for hackers to pretend they are somebody they are not.

While Valimail’s original focus was mostly on ensuring that your outgoing email was trustworthy, the new solution, dubbed Valimail Defend, centers around two types of attacks that use fake incoming emails: those that come from lookalike domains (think tech-crunch.com) and those that rely on “friendly-from spoofing,” where attackers manage to make the incoming email address look like it’s from a legitimate user, often within your company.

“We’ve built our cloud-first anti-impersonation solution to be completely automated from the ground up, and the data is clear: We have the highest rate of effectiveness in protecting our customers’ domains from impersonation,” said Valimail CEO and co-founder Alexander García-Tobar. “Valimail Defend is the latest step in the evolution of our deep industry expertise, giving enterprises and government organizations the most advanced protection against email impersonation.”

The new service will become available in Q3 and will complement the company’s existing solutions under its Valimail Enforce brand, which provides services like email authentication for outgoing messages through DMARC enforcement and a number of other techniques.

Since a large number of security breaches rely on spoofed emails, preventing those kinds of scams is now something that many a company’s chief information security officer is looking at. Often, these scams can be prevented with some basic rule-based approaches, but Valimail argues that its machine learning-driven approach is significantly more effective.

Current Valimail customers include the likes of Splunk, City National Bank and Yelp. “Valimail’s automated approach has proven to be both effective and efficient, as it’s saved us countless employee hours compared with other approaches and got us to enforcement effortlessly,” said Vivek Raman, the director of engineering at Yelp. “We are excited about this next generation of automated anti-impersonation technology from Valimail, which will give us the full end-to-end solution.”

Facial recognition startup Kairos acquires Emotion Reader

Kairos, the face recognition technology used for brand marketing, has announced the acquisition of EmotionReader.

EmotionReader is a Limerick, Ireland-based startup that uses algorithms to analyze facial expressions around video content. The startup allows brands and marketers to measure viewers emotional response to video, analyze viewer response via an analytics dashboard, and make different decisions around media spend based on viewer response.

The acquisition makes sense considering that Kairos core business is focused on facial identification for enterprise clients. Knowing who someone is, paired with how they feel about your content, is a powerful tool for brands and marketers.

The idea for Kairos started when founder Brian Brackeen was making HR time-clocking systems for Apple. People were cheating the system, so he decided to implement facial recognition to ensure that employees were actually clocking in and out when they said they were.

That premise spun out into Kairos, and Brackeen soon realized that facial identification as a service was much more powerful than any niche time clocking service.

But Brackeen is very cautious with the technology Kairos has built.

While Kairos aims to make facial recognition technology (and all the powerful insights that come with it) accessible and available to all businesses, Brackeen has been very clear about the fact that Kairos isn’t interested in selling this technology to government agencies.

Brackeen recently contributed a post right here on TechCrunch outlining the various reasons why governments aren’t ready for this type of technology. Alongside the outstanding invasion of personal privacy, there are also serious issues around bias against people of color.

From the post:

There is no place in America for facial recognition that supports false arrests and murder. In a social climate wracked with protests and angst around disproportionate prison populations and police misconduct, engaging software that is clearly not ready for civil use in law enforcement activities does not serve citizens, and will only lead to further unrest.

As part of the deal, EmotionReader CTO Dr. Stephen Moore will run Kairos’ new Singapore-based R&D center, allowing for upcoming APAC expansion.

Kairos has raised approximately $8 million from investors New World Angels, Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, Backstage Capital, Morgan Stanley, Caerus Ventures, and Florida Institute, and is now closing on its $30 million crowd sale.