SAN FRANCISCO, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ease, a leading HR and benefits software solution for SMBs, insurance brokers, and insurance carriers, today announced the close of its $19 million Series B funding round led by Centana Growth Partners with continued participation from Propel Venture Partners, Compound Ventures, Freestyle Capital and Upside Partnership. The funds will be used to advance Ease's goal to simplify and enhance HR and benefits administration by building new product capabilities and hiring world-class talent. The first two key hires are Petar Nedyalkov as COO and Toshi Kureha as VP Engineering.
In addition to the funding, the company announced an update to their popular system, used by over 60,000 businesses. In collaboration with MetaLab, the update will include a new product design and system enhancements, as well as the change of the company's name to Ease. New capabilities within the system will include EaseConnect+, which offers a first-to-market solution for SMB carrier connectivity. Principal Financial, Guardian and Humana are the first to take advantage of the new feature.
"The small group employer and agent have struggled with the inefficiency of paper to administer employee benefits. They have started to demand better," said Gary Davis Humana's National Leader for Distribution Partnerships. "The Ease and Humana partnership represents an integration of services for an underserved market hungry for technology solutions. Our system integration will create a real-time flow of enrollment and benefit administration services powered by Ease."
Ease brings the benefit enrollment process online, eliminating tedious and complicated paperwork, while increasing employee access to their benefits information. Currently working with over 1,200 agencies, Ease's software offers value and opportunity for brokers to differentiate themselves from the competition by offering a modern benefits experience. More than 1.5 million employees have used Ease to complete enrollment in more than 16 million benefit plans since inception.
"We are thrilled to announce this funding, accelerating our mission to provide brokers and the SMBs they service with cutting-edge software," said David Reid, CEO and Co-founder of Ease. "We are placing a major emphasis on carrier connectivity, which has allowed us to create tools that were never available before for SMBs."
Ease has experienced rapid growth over the last year as it has successfully added brokers, employers and carrier partners to its system.
"Today, digital transformation and automation play a key role across the financial services industry, including insurance and benefits. Ease has proven itself over the years in digitizing key aspects of benefits and HR administration, and streamlining industry processes," said Eric Byunn, Partner of Centana Growth Partners. "We're excited to support them as they work with existing industry participants to create a better user experience and efficiency in areas currently fraught with friction."
New and improved features within this update include the ability for businesses to directly submit benefit enrollment to national insurance carriers. Additionally, Ease has added partner collaboration features that better connect key industry players, like third party administrators and carriers. The update is available to Ease users nationwide.
"Benefit enrollment needs have evolved significantly over the last several years," said Tom Davis, Principal at Centana Growth Partners. "The company's explosive growth is a testament to the vision, technology and comprehensive SaaS platform that David and the Ease team have built to service customers. We are extremely excited to support the Ease team as they continue to be at the forefront of innovation in the way employees engage with carriers and go through the benefit enrollment process."
Ease is an online benefits enrollment system built for insurance brokers and employers. Ease makes it simple to set up and manage benefits, onboard new hires, stay compliant, and offer employees one destination for all their human resources information. Started in 2012 in San Francisco by employee benefits veteran, David Reid, and web and engineering architect, Courtney Guertin, Ease works with insurance brokers and small businesses to create seamless HR and benefits processes on an easy-to-use system, and has offices in Las Vegas, New York, Omaha, and San Diego. In 2015, Ease was launched on the West Coast and is among the most widely adopted, fastest growing solutions for brokers and employers in the area, with over 60,000 employers and 1.5 million enrollees. For more information, head to www.ease.com.
About Centana Growth Partners
Centana is a unique growth equity firm that invests in the future of financial services. We partner with firms across the entire financial ecosystem, from institutions to fintech disruptors. Centana connects our portfolio companies to a catalyzing community that can help accelerate business growth. With offices in Palo Alto and New York, the Centana team taps into decades of financial services expertise and insight to find partner firms that bring real value and innovation into the industry. For more information visit www.centanagrowth.com.
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