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Five Burning Questions with Healthee Founder, Guy Benjamin 

Updated: 2 days ago


Guy Benjamin is an Israel-born entrepreneur and co-founder of Healthee, a healthcare app which mobilizes AI to help employees navigate their health and benefit offerings. The company just raised $32 million in Series A funding earlier this month. Guy was inspired by his own difficulty trying to navigate employer-provided health benefits in the US, and aspires to help people and organizations be healthier by leveraging technology to remove friction when interacting with their healthcare.


I asked Guy five questions about founding Healthee and his advice for other founders. Here’s what he said: 


SB: What is Healthee and why did you create it? 


Guy: After graduating from The Yale School of Management I began working at my first US-based job, as a consultant with McKinsey. I quickly realized that every time I had a question about health benefits, I would get sent to a call center. It was so complicated. I remember literally saying to somebody, “I feel like it's easier to fly a jet than to navigate health benefits in the United States.” I couldn’t be a smart consumer because I never knew what was covered, how much it would cost or where I should go. 

I left McKinsey two and a half years ago and this has been the problem I've been trying to fix. I hoped to figure out a way to rely on AI to allow people like me to and get answers to their questions, quickly, and without needing to involve a call center.


Healthcare is a huge market but the space is still really antiquated. Investors clearly shared my sentiment, we raised about $26M as a seed round, because nearly every person I met said, “you know, you’re right!” And just this month, we received Series A funding of $32 million. 


Startup Healthee secures $32M in funding in March 2024
Healthee secured $32M in funding in March of 2024

SB: I’m learning about various point solutions for employee health and welfare all of the time. What do you think makes Healthee different from the many other apps in the market? 


Guy: There are two main things that I think that are really, truly unique in what we do:


  1. We are not just a point solution for a platform - we integrate many different services.

  2. We are wisely using technology and relying heavily on AI. 


When we started the company, we looked holistically at what it means to be a healthcare consumer, because there are many things we need: open enrollment support, ability to see if you are covered for something, information about in-network versus out of network doctors, booking appointments, telehealth, ID cards, etc. We created a platform that helps the end user be a smarter consumer, by putting everything at their fingertips because it's all digital.


The second differentiator is our reliance on AI. We use AI to convert health plans from just unstructured data (like a PDF) to populate our our database. We provide every employee their own AI based personal health assistant. Her name is Zoe. What makes Zoe so great is that employees can ask her health benefits questions 24/7. She’s never on PTO, she’s always available and she always gives you the right answer!


If you want to, you can still connect to a live person, but over 90% of our interactions are self-served, meaning an employee can come to Zoe and say, “hey, my daughter needs a speech pathologist, can you help me.” Zoe will tell them everything they need to know in less than a minute, including coverage for a specific service and provider, how much it will cost, and will help them make an appointment.


SB: As a startup founder, what was something that surprised you in getting this off the ground? 


Guy: In theory, I understood that I was going to need to be resilient. However, I’m still surprised by how much I need to find resiliency in the people who I hire in order to be successful in this space. My best people need to be resilient and positive, because you fall so many times in a startup, you start and you fall and you and you get up and you start again and you fall again.

"I’m still surprised by how much I need to find resiliency in the people I hire in order to be successful...my best people need to be resilient and positive, because you fall so many times in a startup. You start and you fall and you and you get up and you start again and you fall again."

Resiliency is one of the skills that every employee that we hire has to have to make sure that they are a good fit and can be successful. We know that there will be more failures along the way, and we need to bring on people that can deal with those failures. 


SB: How do you screen for “resiliency” when looking to hire new talent? 


Guy: I try to look for people who embody our values. Two of our core tenets related to resiliency: “Dare to be vulnerable” and “Ever-rise.” To us, that means, accepting that it is OK to be vulnerable, OK to fail and be OK with receiving the feedback. 


In interviews, I’ll often ask candidates to talk to me about a time they failed. How did you rise back up? What did you learn? How did you try again?


SB: The Startup Boston community includes many founders and early-stage startups in the Northeast. What advice can you give to them? 


Guy: Dare to dream. There are things that we did in this company in the last two and a half years that people didn’t think were possible. When you look at our growth, our customers, what we were able to achieve from a technology point of view - many people may not have believed it could be accomplished. It would not have, if we hadn’t been dreaming big! 


In many meetings with investors and advisors, they told me, "this is too much, you really can’t do this" or"this customer is too big for you." If we had heeded that advice, maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today. That’s my best advice to fellow entrepreneurs and people who are starting their own companies; Don't let anybody tell you that you can’t. Dream big. If you don't dream big, then you won't get far.


Learn more about Healthee and the company's mission here or book a demo

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