zizzl is entrepreneur’s newest benefits company

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Raymond Seaver

zizzl LLC

location: Milwaukee
founder:Raymond Seaver, Jr.
founded: 2016
service: Payroll and employee benefits
website: zizzl.com
employees: 8
goal: Grow the company to 500 employees in 10 years.
experience: Seaver helped build another startup, bswift, which was acquired by Aetna for $400 million.

For Raymond Seaver, Jr., starting a company is not a new experience. He has started a series of companies over the years related to employee benefits and health insurance.


So when he saw it made sense to combine payroll services with employee benefits administration, he started a new company. zizzl, formed in October 2016, has eight employees at its Ward4 offices in Milwaukee and several clients signed on for its centralized service.

“That onboarding experience is normally heavily weighted toward employee benefits, but you’re also getting them set up so you can pay them. When you terminate somebody, you need to make sure that information gets to the employee benefits providers,” Seaver said.

Seaver was inspired by Silicon Valley “unicorn” company Zenefits, and there are other competitors in the space, but none in this market. Seaver is targeting small and mid-market companies in southeastern Wisconsin, and says zizzl is differentiated by its best-in-class execution.

“We tend to be more focused on a turnkey solution versus just providing a software,” he said. “We actually provide the software, but we also offer the processes behind it. Having services and expertise behind it really does separate you.”

One of those services is the Ask Emma tool, which asks employees about their health care needs and then compares their expected out-of-pocket costs for several plans. Seaver helped develop the tool at a previous startup, bswift; that company was acquired by Aetna in 2014 for about $400 million.

zizzl earns revenue through the traditional benefits commissions, and also through a per-employee, per-month fee for its payroll services. Seaver has funded the growth of the business himself.

And he has ambitious plans to grow the company to 500 employees over the next 10 years, while also helping clients and other startups create jobs.

“Although it took us 15 years to grow (bswift) to that level, we are confident zizzl will get there within 10,” Seaver said. ν

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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