Why We Invested: Bunker
A frequent topic in the robust discussion of the future of work is the increasing evidence of a rise in contract, freelance, and independent employment. Factors theorized to be contributing to this trend include the emergence and growth of platforms enabling gig work, employers’ desire for agility in managing costs, workers’ desire for more flexible employment arrangements, and improved access to health coverage outside full-time employment (at least for now). We are pleased to lead the Series A investment in Bunker, a company inventing the next generation of insurance products for independent contractors and small businesses.
Back when I was managing development teams, I frequently hired contract workers for user interface design, software development, quality assurance, and other roles. Occasionally I would select from a list of “pre-approved” individuals and firms who had previously navigated our company’s vendor onboarding process. However, I would often have a strong preference for a new vendor and would need to personally shepherd them through onboarding. So, hiring a new vendor was significantly more work, and unfortunately some vendors were simply ineligible because they could not satisfy some requirements, including insurance.
Not only is the process of managing and verifying insurance requirements cumbersome for employers, but the insurance industry has also been slow to offer new products and convenient access suited to the changing nature of work. Insurance requirements are often — and inappropriately — one-size-fits-all, verification is a cumbersome manual process, and prospective employees have difficulty understanding requirements and obtaining appropriate coverage. These challenges often result in potential engagement falling through simply to avoid the pain, and create a lost opportunity for both employer and contractor.
Bunker is an insurance marketplace focused on meeting the needs of contractors and employers. For employers, Bunker offers a free platform for managing, communicating, and tracking compliance with insurance requirements. For individuals and small businesses, Bunker delivers the exact insurance policy at the moment it’s needed. Led by founder and CEO Chad Nitschke, who has deep experience in the insurance industry, Bunker is also developing new insurance products for today’s independent workers — they launched the first of these late last year, a usage-based worker’s compensation product backed by a top insurance carrier and custom-made for workers participating in on-demand marketplaces. Bunker addresses the pain points I experienced as a manager, and could have helped me efficiently bring on the ideal person for each job.
Chad and his team have made impressive progress in a short amount of time, and have huge prospects ahead, including budding expansion into franchisors/franchisees and commercial landlords and tenants. We believe there is an incredible opportunity to invent the next generation of insurance products and processes, and are excited to support Bunker as they enable the future of work.
If you hire contractors or contract firms, or are an independent worker or small business owner, get in touch with Bunker today!