Nava Raises $20M to Reinvent the Employee Benefits Brokerage


Nava, a new kind of employee benefits brokerage, announced today that it raised a $20 million round of financing from Thrive Capital, an investment firm that builds and invests in internet, software, and technology-enabled companies. Nava’s unified benefits offering combines modern healthcare tools, year-round employee advocacy, and ongoing measurement to improve employee engagement and drive down costs for small-to-midsized companies. Nava was co-founded by Brandon Weber, Chief Executive Officer, Donald DeSantis, Chief Product Officer, and Kareem Zaki of Thrive Capital, a lead investor in the company.

The last decade has produced an explosion in healthcare complexity and with it, rising costs that are being disproportionately absorbed by small-to-midsized organizations. Without the resources available to build out a sophisticated benefits department, these companies have outsourced key benefits decisions to traditional brokers, who have limited resources and expertise to manage their expanding scope and the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare solutions. Nava equips these organizations with the advocacy, tools, change management, and expertise needed to deliver more valuable benefits outcomes for their employees, while lowering overall plan cost. For its brokers, Nava enables them to focus on what they do best – produce meaningful outcomes for their clients – by supporting them with a best-in-class lead generation, account management, and employee advocacy platform.

“In our conversations with hundreds of employers across America, we saw scattered examples where mission-oriented consultants, when armed with the right resources, transformed benefits programs, saving employers 20-40% while at the same time dramatically improving the employee experience. These insights led us to the view that the benefits broker could be the most critical change agent in the American healthcare system as they are the de facto buyer of health and related benefits for 160 million Americans who are covered by an employer,” said Brandon Weber, co-founder and CEO of Nava. “We now know that the tools and playbooks for transformation exist, and Nava aims to bring them to the market, at scale.”

“While there’s an encouraging amount of innovation happening in healthcare, these solutions are continually challenged by their inability to reach widespread adoption by employers – and their employees. Nava aims to change that by fixing the go-to-market channel for healthcare innovation. Having previously invested in Brandon [Weber] and Donald [DeSantis]’s last company, we’re excited to partner with them as seasoned founder operators who can leverage their deep experience modernizing brokerage models and apply it to healthcare,” said Kareem Zaki, General Partner at Thrive Capital and co-founder of Nava.

To support its growth, Nava recently expanded its executive team to include Joseph Donovan, Chief Revenue Officer & Benefits Consulting Leader (UnitedHealthcare, The Difference Card); John Capecelatro, Director of Operations (Pill Pack (acquired by Amazon)); Colleen Locke, Director of Client Success (Willis Towers Watson, Namely); and Veronique Valcu, VP of Marketing (Deloitte, AppNexus (acquired by AT&T)).

Nava’s co-founders are experienced tech entrepreneurs with success bringing tech-enabled efficiencies to broker-based industries. They started Hightower and later merged with VTS to form the commercial real estate industry’s leading online leasing and marketing platform.

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