For employee benefits company WatchTower, 2021 signals new beginnings and new funding.
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First, the Chicago-based company announced it has a new name, ThreeFlow, which Ryan Sachtjen, co-founder and CEO of ThreeFlow, told Crunchbase News is to better align the company with its goal of establishing a new enterprise software category called benefits placement system.
“To execute that, we needed to make sure our branding message aligned, so the name was central,” he said. “We aim to pull the employee benefits industry forward by enabling each to manage the entire placement process in one shared system.”
In addition, ThreeFlow brought in $8 million Series A funding led by Emergence Capital1, with participation from Equal Ventures and First Trust Capital Partners.
Joseph Floyd, general partner at Emergence, said in a written statement that the complexities involved in procurement of insurance benefits are now being addressed by ThreeFlow.
“ThreeFlow has built the only solution tailored to the needs of this ubiquitous yet unchanged aspect of insurance,” Floyd said. “Modernizing a long-established industry requires vertical technology that takes into account its specific requirements. This is why we previously invested in companies like Veeva Systems (for life sciences) and Blend (for financial services), and why we believe ThreeFlow will be an iconic industry cloud leader.”
The new funding gives the company just over $12 million in total funding raised since WatchTower was founded in 2015, Sachtjen said. That includes known funding of $1.3 million in the form of convertible notes and other rounds, according to Crunchbase data.
Sachtjen, who started his career in employee benefits, realized there needed to be a better way in which to work with benefits brokers. He met co-founder Richard Perrott, and the two bonded over the shared frustration and started WatchTower.
“The task is organizing information so employers can make good and valuable decisions,” Sachtjen said. “About half of people get their insurance from their employer, but it is challenging and frustrating the way engagement occurs. It is very siloed and tied to manual processes.”
Meanwhile, ThreeFlow serves the mid to large market, which he defines as more than 50 employees. Within that market, 2020 was a momentous year in terms of expansion, as well as the growth of the supply and demand sides of the business, Sachtjen said.
Last year, ThreeFlow facilitated more than $200 million in transactions, a 10 times increase from 2019, and is now working with 28 enterprise contracts and more than 40 carrier relationships.
The new funding will enable the company to continue that momentum, as well as double its 32-person workforce in the next year to launch into new states–the company is in 16 already.
“This year is central in the establishment of the new category and our leadership in it,” Sachtjen said. “We will continue to execute on that and grow on the demand side, which includes more broker relationships, as well as expanding into the new areas.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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