Nava Benefits receives $40M to help bring digital-first benefits to smaller businesses

Nava Benefits, a benefits brokerage, has announced a $40 million influx of capital.

The funding was part of a series B round led by Thrive Capital, alongside participation from new and existing investors like Sound Ventures, GV and Maven Clinic’s vice president of Sales, Isha Vij. The funds will be used to expand Nava’s operations.

Many Americans face challenges in accessing affordable care, yet Fortune 500 companies have the resources to offer their employees benefits to fill that gap, Nava argues. The company exists to bring benefits to small and medium-sized businesses that may struggle to keep healthcare costs low: Among those with less than 500 employees, health benefit costs grew 9.6% in 2021, a higher rate than that of large employers with 5% growth. Nava clients’ average premium renewal rate is 73% lower than the former figure, it claims.

“While there’s been an explosion of innovation happening in the space, very little of it reaches the average American employee,” Kareem Zaki, co-founder of Nava and general partner at Thrive Capital, said in a press release. “It's shocking that in the year 2022 healthcare is still so fractured in America. Nava is working to bring Fortune 500-level benefits to all businesses and their employees.”

Nava leverages technology to advise employers on personalized plans and helps employees understand those plans, book appointments, interpret their claims and resolve billing problems. Since 2020, the company has increased annual recurring revenue by 224% and more than doubled its number of customers, executives said.

Earlier this year, Nava launched a free search tool to help employers shop for benefits among more than 600 vendors on the platform, across 28 benefit categories. The platform was a response to how difficult it is to navigate the benefits market for employers, Nava’s co-founder and CEO Brandon Weber told Fierce Healthcare. Not only is there a massive volume of offerings, but also they may get bottlenecked and not make it downstream to smaller companies. Weber argues this is largely driven by the traditional benefits brokerage industry, which amasses commissions and bonuses from payers whose contracts they fulfill.

“Nava took our benefits to a new level,” Michele Perry, director of human resources at American Assets Trust, said in the latest announcement. Nava reduced their administrative burden, he went on, so they could focus on their employees. “Since implementing Nava’s suite of innovative tools, our employees have been happier and more engaged, and our benefits have enabled us to stay competitive in a tight labor market.”