SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresh off of a Series A investment of $7 million led by Valar Ventures—bringing total money raised to $11 million—fintech startup Starship is making portable health savings accounts available to drivers, delivery persons and carriers who use the Uber app. Building on Starship's partnership with on-demand delivery pioneer, Postmates, today's news reflects the growing need for personalized and portable health savings options provided both inside and outside of traditional, employer-sponsored benefits programs.
"We're seeing incredible, disruptive companies shaking up the fintech space," said James Fitzgerald from Valar Ventures. "Health savings accounts are an important piece of that puzzle, and Starship's individual-centered approach is both unique and primed to disrupt the industry."
"As the way we make a living has evolved, the need to make the most of your health dollars has only gotten greater," said Sean Engelking, Starship CEO and cofounder. "Starship is excited to address this changing landscape with these great partners and additional funding."
Starship provides an experience-driven healthcare banking platform for health savings accounts (HSAs). Anyone with an eligible health plan can install the Starship app on their iOS or Android phone to easily save, spend and invest their funds. Starship makes it easy to
- Contribute tax-free dollars into an account that earns an industry-leading interest rate;
- Pay for qualifying healthcare expenses with the sleek and secure Starship HSA debit card (or through Apple Pay or Google Wallet); and
- Invest in low-fee index funds to take advantage of the long-term growth potential of an HSA as a healthcare nest egg for retirement.
"Starship is built to meet workers' evolving needs while also offering an enterprise platform with administrative tools employers need to manage and match W2 workers' HSA contributions," Engelking added.
Nearly half of all workers in the U.S. do not get their benefits from an employer today. A new system, or "third way," that unlocks portable benefits for workers, irrespective of employment status, could provide more people with access to a broader safety net. As one form of portable benefits, HSAs can provide immediate help to one of Americans' greatest worries: managing healthcare expenses.
On-demand delivery platform Postmates was the first to partner with Starship to unveil health savings accounts to its fleet of 350,000 workers nationwide to increase savings through the pre-tax vehicle, reducing medical expenses over time.
"Since the onset of our partnership, we've been thrilled with the engagement by the Postmates in our fleet," said Claire Sands, Director of Fleet Community Communications and Engagement at Postmates. "As we navigate the future of work, it's imperative that tools like Starship HSA are not only accessible but easy to understand."
"Gig workers are highly mobile, and the financial and wellness platforms they utilize need to be reflective of that," she continued. "Starship's deep understanding of their end-user has empowered our workers to feel confident navigating the health savings account landscape."
The high costs of healthcare continue to be a major concern for Americans. In fact, two-thirds of all Americans cite medical bills as their reason for filing for bankruptcy. The median amount of medical debt owed nationally is $681 as nearly half of all Americans do not have more than $400 to spend at any point. As the average American needs to save up to $300,000 for healthcare expenses in retirement, HSAs are an increasingly attractive saving and investment tool. Awareness of HSAs is growing and Starship seeks to grow it even more.
"Healthcare affordability is a personal mission for me," said Starship CEO Sean Engelking. "I know how crippling medical debt can be. I've seen it first-hand—it's affected my family. There is no silver bullet to fixing the healthcare industry, but the Starship app at least gives people a chance to make healthcare expenses more manageable."
Starship recently raised $7 million in a Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures, with participation from Broadhaven, Clocktower, Third Prime, and 500Startups. With more than $11 million raised since its inception, this latest investment will help Starship improve and expand its offerings for customers, including banking options and payment processing.
Starship is transforming the way Americans pay for healthcare by offering a user-friendly platform for employers and individuals. Anyone with an HSA-eligible health plan can sign up and begin saving tax-free money on tens of thousands of eligible medical expenses or invest their account balance tax-free for retirement. The company offers the highest savings rate in the industry at two percent. Founded by Sean Engelking, Adam Pruden and Christoph Oberhofer in 2017, Starship is headquartered in New York, NY. For more information, please visit www.starshiphsa.com.
Dacyl Armendariz, Greenbrier
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