TECHCRUNCH: Online health insurance for small businesses platform SimplyInsured has raised a total of $1.75 million in seed funding from Starling Ventures, Altair, NerdWallet co-founders Jake Gibson and Tim Chen, Amee and Adil Chaudry, Sam Melamed and Y Combinator to help “pour gas” on sales of the product.
SimplyInsured launched out of Y Combinator’s winter 2013 batch with the aim of providing an easier way for small businesses to get health insurance coverage for employees. It does this by analyzing thousands of insurance plans within seconds and coming up with the best rate. Co-founder Vivek Shah compares it to the way travel sites pull up the best airfare prices and then let you compare the price with the time and other details important to your needs.
But finding a good price is just one of the myriad pain points surrounding group health insurance. Add to that the chaotic run-around, paper work and other minutiae that has been tacked on to our bloated health care system. Most small businesses don’t have time to deal with all that and run a company.
SimplyInsured and other startups attempt to work on those problems in different ways. New York-based Oscar Health Insurance offers its own insurance; Zenefits includes third-party options and offers price comparisons through its HR administration software; and Collective Health allows employers to cobble together unique services, depending on employee needs.
SimplyInsured provides comparison pricing and plan details and handles the paperwork involved in group health insurance — key areas of distress for small businesses looking to provide coverage for employees.
Shah declined to offer revenue numbers for the startup but did say it was mostly bootstrapped, save for the seed funding. He also mentioned that the startup is currently pulling in more than $1 million in sales per month for large insurance networks like Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross.
There are 12 employees working at SimplyInsured now, and Shah is looking to bring about 30-50 more people on board in the near future, most of whom will be in engineering and sales and marketing. The engineers will be working on a new Virtual Broker product that quietly launched on the site two weeks ago, which is meant to replace traditional insurance brokers.