We’re thrilled to join forces with Index Ventures, First Round Capital, and other investors in backing Cocoon — a pioneering company transforming the paid leave experience for employers and employees. The San Francisco-based company announced a $20 million Series A funding round today.

The Cocoon platform launched across all 50 states and is designed for all types of employee leave including parental, medical, caregiver, or bereavement. Cocoon accounts for company, government and insurance benefits and manages all facets of the leave from compliance to claims management to payroll calculations.

This visionary team of co-founders, including Mahima Chawla (CEO), Lauren Dai (COO), and Amber Feng (CTO), have led teams and technology development for some of the most transformative fintech companies around. Since launching last year, they’ve already demonstrated product-market fit, onboarded a large number of employers, and built a talented team.

Like us, they believe the future of work is about more than just Zoom and remote work technology — it’s about solutions that create happier, healthier, and more productive places to work while driving competitive advantages and reduced costs for employers.

Image Credits: Sara Sandtrom / Cocoon co-founders, from left, Amber Feng, Mahima Chawla, and Lauren Dai.

Why now?

There’s never been a more valuable time to invest in technology to streamline and improve the paid leave experience for employers.

The pandemic laid bare the caregiving crisis in the US and the economic implications for employers. Millions of women left the workforce to manage caregiving responsibilities and millions of others managed leave for illness or to take care for family members — contributing to billions in lost talent, productivity, and opportunity in the US.

Paid leave benefits have significant economic value for employers — from boosting productivity to reducing turnover and attracting talent. Paid leave, including parental and family leave, also has significant benefits for child development, maternal health and economic well-being.

Generational and cultural shifts in today’s workforce are also underscoring the value and necessity of paid leave in today’s workforce, especially for attracting talent in competitive industries like technology with a war for talent.

  • In a survey, 77% of employees said that whether a company offered paid leave — and the length of it — had some bearing on where they chose to work. Half said they’d rather have more paid leave than a pay raise.
  • Millennials value parental leave more than earlier generations — 83% of American millennials say they would be more likely to join a company offering such benefits.

Paid leave policy requirements are also changing across the US.

  • Currently one in five private sector employees has access to any paid leave family through their employer. Despite broad need, there is no federal requirement for employers to provide paid family and medical leave, making the US one of a small list of countries that are without a national paid leave policy.
  • Legislation currently moving through Congress, backed by broad public support, would make 12 weeks of paid family and sick leave available to most workers.
  • A number of states — including California, Washington, New Jersey, and New York, among others — have passed new or expanded paid family and medical leave policies in recent years. In addition numerous localities have passed paid family and medical leave legislation.

Employers are demanding a new solution

As paid leave policies evolve and shift from a “nice to have” to an essential benefit, employers are demanding a paid leave management solution that will:

  • Track with changing regulatory requirements in the US and globally,
  • Streamline workflows,
  • Reduce liability and management costs,
  • Reduce HR time and reliance on vendors,
  • Integrate with HRIS and payroll, and
  • Provide an easy, supportive process for employees who are taking leave during important and sensitive times in their lives.

Cocoon has that transformative solution and we think it will revolutionize how employers administer paid leave in the private sector, leading to more competitive businesses and healthier, more productive teams. We couldn’t be more excited to support them.

Magnify Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund investing in founders with bold ideas to reimagine life, work, and care for families.