Written by Jonathan LaMantia for Craine’s New York Business

December 21, 2016

Zipari, a Dumbo-based startup that builds customer-relationship-management software for insurers, announced Tuesday a $7 million Series A funding round led by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Vertical Venture Partners. The company creates tools that allow health insurance customers to compare different types of plans, search for doctors or prescription drugs and view their past claims in a member portal.

Zipari also has created software for insurers to manage their relationships with members, providers and brokers. For example, its software is programmed to alert an insurer when a member has had a claim denied, so that the company might reach out to that customer to provide support.

With the rise of high-deductible health plans, insurers are dealing more with individuals rather than employers, said Mark Nathan, Zipari’s co-founder and chief executive. “As consumers interact more with health insurance plans, [insurers] have a responsibility to be more consumer-centric,” he said.

Nathan, a veteran of Apple and Guardian Life Insurance, served as chief technology officer for the Freelancers Insurance Co. He built the technology that the Health Republic insurance plans in New York, New Jersey and Oregon used for billing, claims and managing individual and group sales leads. He acquired the intellectual property assets from Freelancers Insurance to found Zipari in 2014.

Nathan said the company will use the funding to invest in its engineering and product teams and grow sales through its partners including Salesforce. Clients include Boston’s Minuteman Health, Melody Health Insurance in Denver and Orange, Calif.-based Alignment Health Plan.