Pebble launches with $12M to create custom benefits packages for SMBs

Steven Loeb · December 7, 2022 · Short URL:

The company uses AI to generate a model for each company based on their data

In general, as many of us know, healthcare is very inefficient and difficult to use; this is especially true for small businesses, which face high rates, badly structured plans, and poor service and communication. Yet, 60 million Americans get coverage from these smaller companies, which puts those employees in a less than ideal position.

Pebble is a company dedicated to solving this problem by using artificial intelligence to provide better, smarter and more comprehensive health benefits plans to startups. It publicly launched on Wednesday, along with a $12 million second seed round of funding.

Founded by Manoj Pinna, former CMO of Nubank, and Vinay Reddy, a former senior software engineer at Google, the company uses artificial intelligence, Pebble generates models for each company based on data available from that company, internal and third-party data that accounts for various coverage options and plans from several carriers, different types of spending accounts, tax incentives, employee contributions, employee types and hiring needs, locations, pricing agreements, self-funding options, and reinsurance arrangements.

This allows employers to offer benefits including Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, Disability, Commuter benefits, several types of FSAs, HRAs, HSAs, fertility benefits and enhanced mental health coverage options.

"We level the playing field between Google and startups on healthcare and wellness benefits,"  Pinna told VatorNews.

"We’re likely the only option for affordable fertility coverage and enhanced mental health benefits for smaller startups."

Pebble creates a benefits structure that has what Pinna calls "an optimal tradeoff of costs" to the company and benefits to its employees, while also ensuring that desired benefits, such as fertility and mental health, are available and cost-effective. That means that, when benefits like mental health or fertility coverage can’t be negotiated, or worked into a company’s package with a single carrier, the company leverages tools available as a Third-Party Administrator to help manage those costs.

"When there are multiple options for employees to choose from, strong customer service and products allow us to help them choose the right one for them. This type of mass customization ensures that people get the exact coverage they want, and companies don’t overpay for inefficient coverage or coverages that their team doesn’t value," he said. 

Pebble also works directly with employees to resolve any issues with carriers or providers, integrating its technology with services like Gusto, Rippling, Justworks, and ADP to make healthcare one of the easiest benefits for HR to oversee. 

The launch comes after the company just wrapped up its invite-only beta program; it has now opened its waitlist, and it's not disclosing customer numbers at this time, but Penna would say that the company typically gives its customers the option to save 20% on comparable coverage, though he noted that this varies based on each customer, their goals, team composition, location, and existing benefits.

"Most customers instead choose to maintain costs and offer more generous benefits or previously unattainable benefits, so they must value that a lot more than the 20% cost savings," he said.

The company's new funding round was led by XYZ Venture Capital, with participation from Founders’ Co-op, and it brings the company’s total funds raised to date to $17.3 million.  Pebble will use the money to scale its go-to-market teams; the company currently has about

15 employees and plans to hire consistently and conservatively through the next year. It will also be used to enable additional product investments in existing products to make scaling easier and more efficient, so the company can serve more customers.

In conjunction with the fund, XYZ’s Ross Fubini joined the board of directors at Pebble.  

"Ross has a track record of several successful early-stage investments in companies disrupting highly regulated domains. We already have a strong working relationship and look forward to our continued collaboration as we scale Pebble," said Pinna.

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