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Principal Financial Group was the lead investor in Limelight's $33.5M Series C round in January
Fresh off its $33.5 million funding raise earlier this year, Limelight Health, a company that focuses on automating the employee benefits industry, is announcing a big new partnership with one of its investors that will help the company gain more notice in the industry.
On Thursday, the company announced an integration with the Principal Financial Group, a global financial services provider. Through this partnership, Limelight will help streamline Principal's quoting, rating and renewal processes for its insurance plan enrollment.
"96 percent of all businesses in the country have less than 50 employees; that’s a marketplace where a lot of people in the country get their dental and disability insurance through Prinicipal Financial Group," Jason Andrew, CEO and co-founder of Limelight Health, explained to me in an interview. "They’re a very well respected company and very passionate about providing financial coverage and literacy to businesses, specifically. And they’ve got a very large distribution channel through independent insurance brokers that help get their products out."
The first part of the integration will involve Limelight taking all of Principal's product lines, which include dental, vision, life and disability insurance, and "helping their team to build those products in real time, giving them a ton of flexibility for product design." Over the next few months, the two companies have plans to roll out additional functionalities and features that will be made to available to Principal's staff and brokers.
"The next step will be doing deeper integrations with some of their downstream systems, like Salesforce and their CRM, their internal database," said Andrew.
"If you think about building efficiencies in enterprise software in an industry that’s pretty legacy ridden, like insurance, most carriers have five, six or seven systems that don’t connect together. So, you’ve got massive inefficiencies and workflow problems that cost a lot of money. The biggest thing we’re doing is we’re leveling that out by connecting these disparate systems to allow for a much better workflow and substantial increase in efficiencies. So, that’s the next step."
For Limelight, having Principal as a partner brings the company increased respectability and credibility in the marketplace.
"To be able to have a partnership with one of the most well respected and larger insurers in country is a big deal for us. That brings credibility, it bring stability, it helps the market understand that we’re a viable option for a massive carrier who’s looking for digital transformation. That’s one thing that it helps us with," Andrew told me.
For Principal, having Limelight as a partner brings them the ability to modernize an outdated tech stack, eventually making them a more efficient company.
"Ultimately, if I can boil it down to one thing it’s we want to get the right products to the right people at the right time when they need it. There’s a huge problem in the country with with financial literacy, whether that’s what a deductible is or what type of coverage do people have to have. I think the numbers are around 50 of bankruptcies are driven out of some health issue that doesn’t have the proper covered," said Andrew.
"So, if we can help increase the number of products that are available at the time people are looking for them and make that a better process, that has a real meaningful impact on people’s lives. That’s what we’re bringing by modernizing their technology. A lot of insurance carriers, because they’ve got outdated tech stacks, just aren’t in a position to be able to capture the efficiencies that are needed and leverage data to be able to get the right products to the right people at the right time."
In the end, though, what really makes Principal a good partner for Limelight, and vice versa, are their shared culture and values. That is what makes this more than just another business partnership.
"Part of our mission as a company is to treat our customers as partners; it’s actually in our mission statement and we’ve spent a lot of time as an executive team really working on our values. ‘Doing good’ is one of our company values. We try and give back to our community, and that’s also one of Principal’s values," Andrew explained.
"We try and attract people who we like working with. Life’s difficult enough that you want to not work with people who make life more difficult. When we met with their executive team, we met everyone throughout the organization, there just was a lot of cultural alignment and that’s important when you think about the partners that you’re choosing to work with. There’s a lot of software vendor and partnerships that are, at the end of the day we all run a business so you have to watch the bottom line, but a lot of times that’s all it is, and you get a lot of additional tension and issues that aren’t otherwise necessary because it’s just a business relationship. When there’s some alignment in terms of values and so forth, it makes it that much more exciting, passionate to work together and generally more enjoyable. Ultimately, you get better outcomes as well."
Founded in 2014, Limelight now has five enterprise customers, as well as roughly 400 brokers, and six of the top 10 nationally, that are using its system. The company says it will be signing two more clients in the coming weeks, with several more in August and September.
Limelight Health has raised roughly $45 million in venture funding from investors that include Principal Life, AXA Venture Partners, MassMutual Ventures, Aflac Ventures, Transamerica Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, LaunchPad Digital Health, and Wanxiang America Healthcare Investments.
(Image source: limelighthealth.com)
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Limelight Health is a leading provider of cloud-based enterprise software solutions delivering the most efficient and compelling quoting & underwriting platform for the employee benefits industry. We provide process automation and seamless integration between every participant in the employee benefits industry including carriers, underwriters, sales executives, agents, advisors, and their customers.
Limelight's innovative platform offers a range of microservices that are highly configurable for business needs including quoting, rating, proposal generation, renewals, automated processing for pre-sales, new business, underwriting, enrollment support, data analysis, reporting, consumer delivery and agent self-service, document management and seamless integration with industry systems and services.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Limelight Health has satellite locations in Redding, California and Des Moines, Iowa and a sizable remote workforce. Learn more at www.limelighthealth.com.