HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Digital Insurance, the nation's largest employee benefits-only company, has bought a significant equity stake in Houston, Texas-based tech company GoCo.io, developer of a human capital management platform that streamlines operations for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). The partnership instantly creates a powerful market advantage other technology solutions like Zenefits lack: the GoCo.io platform is coupled with Digital’s established brokerage network to provide clients employee benefits advisory expertise.
“By combining our technology with Digital’s nationwide system of respected benefit advisors, we deliver a state of Zen that no other SMB approach achieves,” says GoCo.io CEO Nir Leibovich. “Without a strong advisory system, solutions offering software to clients in exchange for becoming the broker-of-record are off balance. Employers and their employees need access to experienced advisors to help navigate the healthcare system and maintain compliance. Our solution provides the missing link. GoCo.io focuses on technology; Digital delivers advisory expertise; and the union is the most responsible way to provide service to clients. ”
With its tech-enabled operations and service center based in Atlanta, Digital plans to roll out this new platform through its Digital Benefit Advisors division, which has 30 offices across the country. The company manages nearly $4 billion in premiums and expects many of its 30,000 clients to adopt this technology over the next several years.
“Digital offers the infrastructure, national scale and distribution system that instantly catapults our company into a forceful contender in this space,” says Leibovich.
“Digital’s partnership with GoCo.io also helps level the playing field for SMB employers struggling with administration issues and healthcare reform,” says Mike Sullivan, chief growth officer for Digital and GoCo.io board member. “No other entity has been able to offer the SMB market both human capital management software, along with a true consultative brokerage experience. The partnership between our companies creates a true disruptive force in our industry.”
With this new software platform, employers require only one system to manage employee benefits, onboarding, off-boarding, payroll, and other human capital management activities. In addition to creating a seamless connection between employers, employees, advisors and insurance carriers, GoCo.io has another mission in mind.
“Our vision is to transform the employer-employee relationship with a compelling user experience,” says Leibovich. “People tend to characterize technology in terms of efficiencies; we think in terms of how it can elicit delight.
“GoCo.io is creating a solution that will foster brand allegiance,” he continues. “Because our platform reimagines the way employees interact with a company, our hope is to create a desire – and demand – for similar experiences with future employers. Simultaneously, businesses will discover our platform not only provides an operational advantage, but it is also a way to attract talent. We want our technology to transcend administrative value and become an asset to an employer’s culture.”
Leibovich and his team are a recent example of serial entrepreneurs entering the complex and disconnected benefits and human capital management space. After successful startup ventures in gaming analytics and human genome analysis, Leibovich rejoined co-founders Michael Gugel and Jason Wang to launch GoCo.io. Their research determined that the complexities of benefits selection and evolving legislation required insurance expertise that would be extremely difficult and time consuming to build.
Leibovich’s motivation is also personal. In response to challenges he experienced using Zenefits at another company, plus a family member’s dilemma after choosing a plan without consulting an advisor, the GoCo.io CEO felt it would be irresponsible for his company to go to market with a solution that wasn’t completely integrated into a reputable advisor network. As a result, he reached out to Digital to explore a potential relationship. His timing was impeccable, as Digital was searching for a technology solution to revolutionize the firm’s capabilities.
“We were both trying to solve similar, but adjacent, problems,” says Leibovich. “Together, our power is magnified, and our clients will benefit as a result.”
Digital’s Sullivan agrees. “Our investment in GoCo.io demonstrates our confidence that their software platform will not only transform the way we do business, but it also will evolve marketplace expectations regarding what SMB employers will require from their employee benefits advisors. Our partnership changes the game.”
About Digital Insurance
Digital Insurance is the largest employee benefits-only company in the United States. Distinguished by its focus on innovation, advocacy and education, the company creates greater value for employers and inspires individuals to become more engaged healthcare consumers. Its main division, Digital Benefit Advisors, offers experienced, local market experts in communities across the country, providing innovative solutions and expanded services to help companies meet their strategic business objectives. Headquartered in Atlanta, Digital has over 600 employees throughout the country and serves 30,000 companies, partners with 275 leading brokers and manages nearly $4 billion in premiums. Digital Insurance has been named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s fastest-growing companies every year since the honor’s inception in 2007.
GoCo.io, based in Houston, Texas, creates technology solutions that reimagine the way companies interact with their employees. By creating delightful user experiences, the technology transcends operational value and helps small and mid-sized businesses transform their culture. GoCo.io’s modern web platform streamlines critical business operations, including employee onboarding and off-boarding, document management, HR compliance and benefits administration. The founders have an impressive track record in the tech industry, notably launching MarketZero, Inc., a gaming analytics platform later acquired by gaming giant Zynga. Soon after they founded Arpeggi, Inc., a GE-backed company that developed bioinformatics solutions for human genome sequencing and analysis, which was acquired by biotech firm Gene by Gene.