The hibob platform offers a specially designed HR system that includes a digital insurance agent guaranteed to be objective on behalf of the employee
Israeli company hibob, which was founded in 2015 and has been under the radar since then, announced the completion of a $7.5 million seed financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) and a group of British fintech angels on Monday. Simultaneously with the announcement, the company is also launching a cloud-based B2B platform for human resources management and administration designed for small and medium-sized companies.
“We developed the cloud-based Saas platform, which enables small businesses (20-400 employees) to use a human resources (HR) system for managing their employees. The system handles the employee’s entire life cycle from the time he joins the company to the time he is laid off, including vacation management, time management, contracts, and option plans. We put everything that is currently handled through dozens of different Excel reports into a single platform that facilitates transparency and saves time,” hibob Co-Founder and CEO Ronni Zehavi told Geektime.
“Our children won’t meet insurance agents”
As noted, the hibob platform contains the database of the employees and their contracts and documents. In addition, the company is also launching another element – an integral part of the system that functions as a digital insurance agent (with an emphasis on pension and/or health insurance). On the one hand, this element is integrated in the HR system with the ability to present the insurance situation simply and understandably to both employees and employers. On the other hand, it is directly connected to the information systems of insurance companies or large insurance agents.
The information from the system will aid employees and employers in producing cheaper and more personalized insurance policies. That is what actually distinguishes the product that hibob has developed, so that the system is able to anonymously give the insurance companies the company’s profile – its DNA.
“Small businesses, the ones that make every country go, have no system written for their needs. There are systems written for large enterprises, but not for small ones, which detracts from their ability to obtain benefits for their employees,” Zehavi explains.
He notes that, “In England, we’re creating and managing a collective composed of small businesses. Not only are we bringing insurance products and benefits to the collective at an attractive price, but those products are better tailored to the client.”
For example, he says that in their system, “There are companies in which the average age of their employees is 30. We know that people at 30 are usually preoccupied with pregnancies and small children, so the medical insurance we bring to those employees is not general insurance; it is tailored precisely to the needs of those employees at that age. There are policy extensions for all sorts of pregnancy tests, doctors’ visits in the middle of the night, etc. The ability to perform predictive analytics, calculate the common denominator of small enterprises, and adapt the most suitable types of insurance for them makes it a win-win situation for all the parties concerned.”
When we asked if the system would eliminate the need for insurance agents, or if they would also be able to use it, Zehavi answered, “In principle, the idea is to eliminate the need for them. There are 25,000 pension insurance agents in England, and we want to be the biggest insurance agent in the country. Were they (the insurance agents) objective and unbiased, doing their work in good faith, no one would replace them. But they’re biased, and money is what interests them. If you have a meeting with them, and don’t understand what they told you after half an hour because they aren’t speaking clearly to you, you need someone to help you,” and that is where hibob comes in.
Hibob was founded by four entrepreneurs: CEO Ronni Zehavi, former CEO, founder, and partner in Cotendo which was sold to Akamai in 2012 for 368 million, and currently a founding partner in the Team8 cyber incubator; CTO Israel David; CPO Amit Knaani; and CMO Andy Bellass, a Brit. The company currently has 35 employees, with 25 in Israel and the rest in London. Zehavi tells Geektime that the company will use the money from this financing round mainly for expansion, and planned to recruit at least 15 more employees by the end of the year. The money raised will also enable them to continue developing more insurance products.
As of now, hibob’s main focus is in Britain, due to the size of the market there and the fact that since 2012, the British pension market has been undergoing a reform in which the state is forcing all employers to institute pension savings plans for every worker. Zehavi asserts that insurance agents in England earn $4 billion a year, and his company’s aspiration is to be the biggest insurance agent in the country. As of the beginning of 2016, there were 1.3 million small businesses in Britain that were obligated to introduce a pension plan for their employees within 12 months. Immediately after penetrating Britain, hibob plans to take its product to other countries, including Israel.