Today we’re excited to share that WatchTower is now ThreeFlow! The name ThreeFlow best represents our mission of designing technology that leads to better decisions. We connect people, systems, and information, making it easier for insurance carriers to win business and benefits brokers to empower employers to make better benefits decisions for their employees. With a new name and brand comes an expanded mission to build the first Benefits Placement System (BPS), a new category of enterprise software for the two main stakeholders: brokers and carriers. We aim to pull the employee benefits industry forward by enabling each to manage the entire placement process in one shared system. To help us progress on this mission, we have raised $8M from Emergence Capital, with participation from Equal Ventures and First Trust Capital Partners.
“Every company offers insurance benefits, yet the complexity involved in the procurement process has been long overlooked. ThreeFlow has built the only solution tailored to the needs of this ubiquitous yet unchanged aspect of insurance,” said Joseph Floyd, Emergence Capital. “Modernizing a long-established industry requires vertical technology that takes into account its specific requirements. This is why we previously invested in companies like Veeva Systems (for life sciences) and Blend (for financial services), and why we believe ThreeFlow will be an iconic industry cloud leader.”
In 2020, ThreeFlow facilitated over $200 million in premium transactions—a 10x increase from 2019. We’ve more than quadrupled the number of brokers that rely on us this year and almost tripled the number of carriers we work with. Today, more than 40 major carriers across products including medical stop loss, life, disability, dental, vision, and worksite rely on our technology to efficiently and effectively work with brokers and employers.
The dreaded RFP—and how we can do better
The team at ThreeFlow has experienced the biggest pain points of the industry first hand. Before starting ThreeFlow, I spent 12 years at Sun Life Financial selling employee benefits. I had a very clear job to be done, but none of the right tools to do my job efficiently or accelerate growth. I lacked a way to collaborate deeply or have dynamic interactions with my broker partners, and they were equally as frustrated. Everything was in it's own silo: separate spreadsheets, separate tools, separate systems. It limited our ability to develop the deep collaboration that could drive value for us and, more importantly, our employer clients.
The tasks of buying, selling, and managing insurance are bogged down by administrative complexity and antiquated processes. Critical information is sent as attachments, numbers are calculated in spreadsheets, and negotiation happens over email, calls, or in person. Without meaningful collaboration, people end up being busy, but not productive. This productivity gap may be (somewhat) manageable as a one-time occurrence, but more than $150B of employee benefit insurance are placed each year in the mid-to-large market using these manual, error-prone workflows and low-tech solutions.
At the heart of this broken experience is the request for proposal (RFP)—the process used by brokers to determine which carriers best fit the needs of their employer clients. The first challenge we decided to tackle at ThreeFlow was to streamline the manual steps of the traditional RFP. Our product allows carriers to highlight their value differentiators and submit their bids, allowing them to serve more potential customers in less time. Meanwhile, brokers use ThreeFlow to gather and track detailed information from different carriers, so they can easily compare multiple bids at once and make smarter decisions. By eliminating manual and redundant processes, our broker and carrier users finally have the ability to dive into the details of benefits strategy, rather than tracking down missing details.
Making our users more productive
As a BPS, we’re built specifically for the employee benefits industry. We knew we had the potential to empower brokers and carriers to collaborate together more effectively throughout the plan year, not just at the time of going to market. ThreeFlow aims to be the trusted system of record between brokers and carriers, providing real-time, visibility into their shared books of business. The brokers we work with have access to full client profiles—including details on workforce, total cost, and existing plan selections—available at any time instead of scrambling before a strategy planning meeting. Carriers can review active or completed renewals and bids, filtered by any relevant variables (like brokerage firm, employer size, or due date).
ThreeFlow also offers a unique view of the marketplace that no single broker or carrier has on their own. Our reporting provides market activity, which can be used to inform and improve sales, distribution, and engagement strategies.
“ThreeFlow is a category creating company that will transform how benefits are bought and sold,” said Rick Zullo, Partner, Equal Ventures. “Millions of people in the US have jobs focused on helping companies evaluate, negotiate, or implement insurance benefits, and ThreeFlow is able to make them more effective and efficient in their work so they can get more done in less time.”
This is just the beginning for ThreeFlow, as we further expand the functionality of our platform to help brokers and carriers spend time on what matters, which is delivering value to clients. If you’re interested in joining us, check out our careers page and if you’d like to learn more about how our technology could work for you, get in touch. Finally, reporters with questions can send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.