Insurance startups Gravie, SimplyInsured close on funding

The good news for health insurance startups continues. One day after Oscar Insurance announced $145 million in funding, two startups that aim to help consumers and small businesses find and administer health plans also announced investments.

Minneapolis-based Gravie closed on $12.5 million in venture capital. The company raised $10.5 million last year, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported.

Gravie's services guide consumers through the process of purchasing health plans online. It offers products from more than 350 insurers. The company also focuses on small and medium-sized businesses that drop insurance coverage and send employees to the individual market, the article said.

Gravie CEO Abir Sen told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal the funding will help scale the business and add sales staff in Minnesota, Chicago, Indiana, Florida and Texas.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based SimplyInsured raised $1.75 million in seed funding, according to TechCrunch. Like online travel booking sites, SimplyInsured helps consumers search among health plans and compare them based on prices and other factors, co-founder Vivek Shah told TechCrunch. The company also handles the paperwork associated with group health insurance.

Shah told TechCrunch that SimplyInsured pulls in roughly $1 million in sales per month for insurance networks such as Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross. The seed funding will help the firm hire engineers to work on its recently launched Virtual Broker tool, Shah said. The tool draws comparison to what's offered by Zenefits, a Utah-based health insurance startup that takes on a broker role.

Entrepreneurs continue to shake up the insurance business, FierceHealthPayer previously reported, and their technology-driven, consumer-centric approach to the insurance process has caught the attention of big-name payers such as Humana and UnitedHealth.

For more:
read the Gravie statement
here's the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal article
read the TechCrunch article

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