For startups and small businesses, providing and managing employee insurance and benefits can be a huge headache. In the early stages of business development, this responsibility generally falls into the hands of founders, who have to contact insurance brokers and manage the whole enrollment process themselves. It’s tedious and distracting, yes, but it’s also a critical part of running a business — and ensuring that your employees are happy, healthy and productive.

After experiencing this painful process twice (as a co-founder of Wikinvest and, again, at SigFig), Parker Conrad decided founders had been subjected to enough pain and set out to build a solution — “the product I wish had been available the first two times around,” he says. After recruiting Laks Srini, who had been a fellow software engineer SigFig, the two co-founded Zenefits to help startups and small businesses find insurance quotes and manage employee benefits in one place.

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