By Michael Levin
Co-founder and CEO, Vericred
A lot runs through your mind when you complete a Series B round of funding totaling $22.7 million.
Two obvious feelings, for sure: pride and humility.
Pride, because the round, which was oversubscribed, took less than three months—half the time we expected—and included monetary votes of confidence from four new investors (Aquiline Technology Growth, Echo Health Ventures, MassMutual Ventures, and Guardian Strategic Ventures) as well as three existing ones (Riverside Acceleration Capital, First Health Capital Partners, and FCA Venture Partners). It’s the ideal mix of strategic and venture capital partners. If we’re to be judged by the company we keep, we like our chances.
Humility, because we learned a lot about business and our industry from the fundraising process, even from those investors who passed on this round. There’s nothing like having dozens of microscopes focused on you, each with its own lens through which to view your decisions and theories. Humility also because we now feel even more pressure to keep delivering on our accumulating successes and evolving promise. We’ll use this new capital to expand our operational teams in New York City and Omaha, and to beef up our marketing and sales functions throughout the country. We don’t take a dollar of revenue—existing or new—for granted.
But, if I’m leveling with you, what I’m also feeling right now is optimism and impatience.
Optimism, because the vision that’s driven us from the beginning continues to prove its merit, producing real accomplishments and genuine approbation from stakeholders that matter.
We are, all of us at Vericred, unapologetic benefit geeks who love a good API. And we started our infrastructure-as-a-service platform because we knew that the health insurance and benefits industry was about to enter a new phase of digital transformation, an inevitable evolution driven by a need for the operational efficiencies that would be necessary to improve member experiences and product innovation.
Today, thanks to our talented team, Vericred offers a full suite of APIs across medical, life, dental, vision and other lines of coverage that power quoting, enrollment, member management, and renewals on multi-carrier InsurTech and BenTech platforms. Our goals were to simplify the complex process of exchanging data among multiple partners—and set a standard for the industry. That’s what we’ve done, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
One measure of Vericred’s impact on the industry is the more than 300 carriers and 100+ tech companies (and counting) that have joined our platform, a roster of heavyweights and forward thinkers that includes Cigna, Guardian, Humana, MetLife, Principal, Kaiser, Rippling, Gusto, Ease, and Namely. This momentum, along with the strategic investment participation by industry leading carriers, reflects the inevitability of what’s coming as much as it does the excellence of our execution.
But our determination to grow the community of partners on our platform is not driven solely by the desire to generate returns for investors or to bring order to a far-too-siloed business. We have always been a little (maybe a lot) obsessed with the benefits ecosystems because we believe our industry—and our industry’s ability to serve individuals and organizations—is enhanced when we are all connected, when we are speaking the same language directly to each other in the smoothest possible “dialogue.”
When I talk about connecting I’m not just referring to the efficient transmission and translation of data that Vericred is helping to simplify. I’m referring to real-life connections between actual humans—data scientists, C-suite execs, tech mavens, operations leaders, marketing pros—across companies and sectors of the industry.
That’s really why I’m also a little impatient after this just-completed raise. I want to make that happen, sooner than later. Which is why some of the funds will be used to launch a series of initiatives that we believe will go a long way toward building the kind of community that a healthy industry needs, one in which the transfer of knowledge is not only API to API or system to system but also person to person.
I’ll expand on the details of Vericred’s “connectivity agenda” in the coming weeks and months, but for now I’ll just say that we believe the people in every precinct of our expanding and evolving ecosystem—carriers, technology companies, regulators, researchers—need a new way of communicating and exchanging ideas. Just as we’ve made good on the promises we’ve made so far about standardizing health insurance and benefits data, we’re equally committed to accountability when it comes to unifying our more-in-common-than-not communities.
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