- Allison Baum Gates & Colin Tobias
Announcing Our Investment in Cocoon
Ask any new parent, manager, or HR administrator about the process of employee leave, and their response will range from an eyeroll to a frustrated scream. With highly variable regulations, company and role specific reimbursement policies, as well as new complexities arising from increasingly distributed workforces, even the most well-meaning employers struggle with the process. As a result, 49% of working mothers don’t return to work after their leave ends.
Not only is it a costly, complex issue that leads to high turnover and low productivity, it also consumes 20-40 hours of an HR professional’s time per employee leave. For companies with hundreds or thousands of employees, that equates to thousands of hours every year. As the HR function overall has transitioned toward more strategic focuses, and COVID-19 has catapulted HR professional’s time into extremely high demand, these are precious hours that should not be spent checking boxes and filing paperwork.
After years of hearing about these challenges from the HR community and peer groups alike, we are excited to announce our participation in Cocoon’s $20 million Series A led by Index Ventures. Cocoon was founded by Mahima Chawla, Lauren Dai and Amber Feng — proven leaders who built their careers by reshaping the dusty, highly regulated industries of lending and payments through their work at Square and Stripe. Chawla, Dai and Feng came together to transform employee leave in a similar vein, creating a defining employee leave product and user experience.
Current solutions in the market are either typically expensive consulting agreements or platforms designed to help provide information, but still require employers to manage the process on their end. The Cocoon platform is designed to address every type of employee leave (i.e. parental, medical, caregiver, bereavement or any other type) across all 50 states, handling everything from compliance to claims management to payroll calculations. It factors in state, federal, company and insurance benefits accordingly to demystify, simplify and streamline the leave experience for both employees and HR teams.
“Employees often need to take a leave at the most stressful or most personal moments of their lives. The last thing they want to worry about is filing paperwork or doing mental gymnastics to figure out how much they’re getting paid and by who,” said Chawla, co-founder and CEO of Cocoon. “After hearing countless nightmare stories about leave from employees as well as HR leaders, we didn't want anyone else to have to endure this unnecessary stress. We built a software platform that puts the employee first and allows them to focus on the reason behind their leave-- all the while removing headaches, costs and complexity for employers. Cocoon is a modern and empathetic solution to a longstanding pain point.”
To learn more about how Cocoon is transforming employee leave, please visit www.meetcocoon.com.