Daniell Abril, June 30, 2015
Alan Katz and his three co-founders have watched as HR software companies such as Zenefits have blown up in size and traction in the past few years, taking market share from traditional brokerages.
“They’re offering something most brokers can’t because most brokers aren’t software companies,” he said. “Our reason for existence is to equip independent brokers with the tools they need to level against high-tech competitors that are trying to disrupt the market.”
Katz, of Los Angeles, and his co-founders Victor Young of San Francisco, Trei Wild of Plano and Mark Gastineau of Los Angeles are using their experience in leadership roles for companies including BlueCross BlueShield and eNetInsurance to build their own Plano-based software company that would bolster insurance brokers and give them a competitive edge.
The name of the company: Take 44 Inc., which expects to boast its product NextAgency by the end of the summer.
The founders are amid raising a $1.5 million seed round of funding with a rolling close. This money represents the company’s first raise. The founders initially funded the company with $200,000 out of pocket.
Here’s a look at the company.
When were you founded?
We started working together in January and became incorporated in April.
What does your software do?
We’re going to provide brokers with HR administrative software along with software that allows them to compare rates with the market. What an employer will do is choose whether they want to work with a software company that also does benefits or with a comparable software platform from a broker they know. That’s basically our approach to the market.
How do you make money?
The name of the software they give away is called NextHR. Brokers pay us a license fee, which entitles them to 50 end users. If they need more than 50, they can buy 50 more at half price.
Why do you think this will make people choose traditional brokerages over software companies?
Brokers can understand a specific client and the marketplace. Which plan is doing specially well with customer service this year vs. last year? You need to know how the networks are shaping up which doctors and hospitals are leaving that network. Because they’re local can deliver.
Note: Since this article ran we’ve changed our pricing. Brokers now pay a license fee which entitles them to unlimited client installations of NextHR.