St. Paul benefits tech startup Adestinn partners with BCBS-MN


AdestinnSt. Paul employee vacation benefit firm Adestinn has partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, the largest health plan provider in the state with 2.9m members.

Adestinn offers a vacation savings program that works similar to the way someone might save towards retirement, except that it’s going towards hotel and resort accommodations centered around leisure travel and vacation services.  Adestinn provides employees a 50% matching credit on on their financial contributions to a planned vacation savings.

Founder David-Elias Rachie first conjured up the idea a decade ago when trying to improve the perks for software engineers he was recruiting at the time.   Three years ago it was created and introduced.

“I wanted to help our employees pay for vacation and make sure they actually took them rather than just give time off,” he explains, “So I did what I know and turned to technology.”

Adestinn’s engine brings employees, benefits brokers, insurance companies, hotels, and hospitality-industry services firms together.  He likens the custom back-end to that of payment, employee benefits and price comparison/booking all in one.

“Adestinn is more than just a matching program…behind that is a complete system for people to save, plan and pay for it all in a set it and forget it way.”

Rachie says that vacations are proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate, reducing the risk of a heart attack by 50 percent — not to mention the increase in relaxation, happiness and peace of mind achieved through vacations.

“Current health research shows that all work and no play can be detrimental to a person’s health. Fortunately, the remedy is really quite simple— plan a vacation. And Adestinn is a unique way to accelerate your vacation plans, said Matt Marek, vice president of product and marketing with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

With the partnership, BCBS-MN is already offering Adestinn internally to their own employees, going external direct to self insured customers, and ultimately rolling out with employer clients later this year.

“We can guarantee that 10% of those who can use Adestinn will use Adestinn,” Rachie says. “From an engagement perspective, that is uniquely high.”

“Blue Cross has a tremendous heritage of driving innovation throughout the health care industry. We are delighted to partner with them to help Blue Cross members benefit from a well-deserved vacation.”

The revenue model is to make money when people go on vacation, that is, part of the match money goes towards Adestinn’s income.  The venture already raised $1.5m in seed round and has thirteen employees.

Looking ahead, Rachie wants to raise another round of funding and pursue partnership with Aetna, Humana, United and Cigna — which collectively represent 70 million policies.