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Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from the tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Dirk Doebler, Founder and CEO of Parento, a paid parental leave insurance solution that has raised $4.5 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Unconventional Path to Insurance: Despite a career in finance and operations, Dirk ventured into the insurance industry to tackle paid parental leave, a domain where he saw significant potential for social impact and financial innovation.
  • Personal Drive for Entrepreneurship: Dirk’s journey to founding Parento was fueled by a desire to work on problems that mattered to him personally, rather than fitting into the conventional job mold. His quest for meaningful work led him to identify and solve the challenge of providing paid parental leave.
  • Founding Inspiration from Market Research: The realization that finance departments were the bottleneck in companies offering paid parental leave propelled Dirk to start Parento. He saw the need for a solution that could bridge the gap between HR’s understanding of the leave’s importance and finance’s concerns about its cost and ROI.
  • Solving a Financial Problem: Dirk identified paid parental leave as a finance issue requiring a finance solution. Parento was conceptualized to offer insurance that makes paid leave more feasible and appealing for companies by providing budget certainty and demonstrating clear ROI.
  • Misconceptions about Paid Parental Leave: Dirk addresses common misconceptions companies have about paid parental leave, such as fears of abuse or misunderstanding the return on investment. He emphasizes the benefits of offering comprehensive leave policies for retention and talent attraction.
  • Building for the Future: Looking ahead, Parento aims to be the go-to provider for supporting working families beyond just the parental leave phase. They plan to expand their suite of products to encompass broader family support, further integrating financial solutions with employee well-being.



Identify the True Obstacle:

Recognize that the reluctance to implement paid parental leave often stems from financial concerns rather than HR. Crafting solutions that address financial hesitations can lead to broader adoption of socially beneficial policies.

Develop a Financial Case for Social Policies:

Utilize data and analytics to demonstrate the ROI of paid parental leave. Showing the financial benefits, such as reduced turnover and higher employee retention, can convince finance departments of the value of these policies.

Leverage Insurance for Cost Certainty:

Consider insurance-based solutions to provide cost certainty and risk mitigation for paid parental leave policies. This approach can make it easier for companies to budget for and implement these programs.

Address Common Misconceptions Head-On:

Educate stakeholders about the realities of paid parental leave, dispelling myths such as the fear of mass leave-taking or negative impacts on the company. Use data and examples to counter these misconceptions effectively.

Focus on the Long-Term Vision:

Keep the bigger picture in mind when building your solution. Aim to create a comprehensive support system for working families that extends beyond parental leave, addressing various aspects of work-life integration and employee well-being.

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