Ben raises $2.5M seed to repair worker advantages for SMEs – TechCrunch

Ben, a London-based employee benefits and rewards platform, has raised $2.5 million in funding. The seed spherical is led by Cherry Ventures, and Seedcamp.

Quite a few angel merchants with backgrounds in fintech and HR tech moreover participated. They embody Paul Forster (founding father of Definitely), Taavet Hinrikus (founding father of TransferWise), Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas (beforehand an exec at GoCardless nevertheless now a partner at Index Ventures), Philip Reynolds (VP of Engineering at Workday), and Matt Robinson (founding father of Nested).

Half fintech, half HR play, Ben has constructed an employee benefits platform to permit SMEs to produce way more personalised and versatile benefits to employees. The U.Okay. startup does this by means of a SaaS for managing benefits, along with a benefits market, blended with per-employee debit taking part in playing cards powered by Mastercard.

The thought is to offer employees further explicit individual choice spherical which benefits they choose, whereas making it simple to on-board further suppliers. This can be by means of {{the marketplace}} or through whitelisting service supplier or service supplier courses by means of the employer issued Bank cards, much like meals and drinks or journey and mobility, or a specific co-working home and so forth.

“Whereas most companies present benefits in order to enchantment to and work together group members, and eventually drive productiveness, most choices don’t ship the desired outcomes,” Ben co-founder and CEO Sebastian Fallert tells me. “To have affect, selections should work for the individual employees; finally, a ‘revenue’ that’s associated for somebody working from dwelling of their mid-40s might presumably be subsequent to ineffective for a model new starter of their 20s”.

Fallert says that providing the required stage of personalised benefits has been unimaginable for a lot of small to medium-sized companies due to the “extreme worth and complexity” of constructing and administering personalised programmes. This has seen solely huge enterprises ready to offer versatile revenue programmes the place employees get to select from a wide range of selections. Ben targets to therapy this.

“The Ben software program program platform permits companies to load funds and set explicit individual spend tips on how these will be utilized,” explains Fallert. “Staff are then prepared to pick out from group benefits, much like private medical insurance coverage protection, psychological wellbeing firms, or dental plans, whereas an precise per-employee Mastercard opens the door to simply about any providers or merchandise in a tax-efficient and compliant method”.

The end result’s a “win-win,” says the Ben CEO. “Staff get tailored benefits, and companies solely pay for what’s used, benefit from tax exemptions and most popular pricing, whereas streamlining the administration”.

The Ben platform is at current utilized by smaller and mid-market companies, notably these with a distributed group. “It’s these firms particularly that ought to care for the rising complexity of their programmes to take care of up with a further quite a few and an increasing number of distant/distributed workforce,” says Fallert.

Within the meantime, Ben has three earnings streams: a SaaS cost; interchange earnings every time its taking part in playing cards get used; and, in any case, affiliate earnings from its market.

Gives the Ben CEO: “One in every of our core hypotheses is that there are so many excellent firms available on the market that merely can’t get through to companies as they’re sometimes not associated for all employees, much like debt consolidation or fertility remedy. With Ben, they get simple distribution on regular enterprise phrases whereas companies get to produce an additional revenue with none further overhead”.

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