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

Ben raises $2.5M seed to fix employee benefits for SMEs – TechCrunch

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

A variety of angel traders with backgrounds in fintech and HR tech additionally participated. They embrace Paul Forster (founding father of Certainly), Taavet Hinrikus (founding father of TransferWise), Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas (beforehand an exec at GoCardless however 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 worker advantages platform to allow SMEs to supply far more personalised and versatile advantages to staff. The U.Ok. startup does this by way of a SaaS for managing advantages, together with a advantages market, mixed with per-employee debit playing cards powered by Mastercard.

The concept is to provide staff extra particular person alternative round which advantages they select, whereas making it straightforward to on-board extra suppliers. This may be by way of {the marketplace} or by whitelisting service provider or service provider classes by way of the employer issued Credit cards, comparable to foods and drinks or journey and mobility, or a selected co-working area and so forth.

“Whereas most corporations supply advantages as a way to entice and interact group members, and finally drive productiveness, most options don’t ship the specified outcomes,” Ben co-founder and CEO Sebastian Fallert tells me. “To have affect, choices have to work for the person staff; in any case, a ‘profit’ that’s related for any individual working from house of their mid-40s may very well be subsequent to ineffective for a brand new starter of their 20s”.

Fallert says that offering the required degree of personalised advantages has been unimaginable for many small to medium-sized corporations as a result of “excessive price and complexity” of making and administering personalised programmes. This has seen solely massive enterprises capable of supply versatile profit programmes the place staff get to choose from a variety of choices. Ben goals to treatment this.

“The Ben software program platform permits corporations to load funds and set particular person spend guidelines on how these can be utilized,” explains Fallert. “Workers are then in a position to select from group advantages, comparable to personal medical insurance coverage, psychological wellbeing providers, or dental plans, whereas an actual per-employee Mastercard opens the door to just about any services or products in a tax-efficient and compliant method”.

The result’s a “win-win,” says the Ben CEO. “Workers get tailor-made advantages, and firms solely pay for what’s used, make the most of tax exemptions and most well-liked pricing, whereas streamlining the administration”.

The Ben platform is at present utilized by smaller and mid-market corporations, particularly these with a distributed group. “It’s these companies specifically that must cope with the rising complexity of their programmes to maintain up with a extra various and more and more distant/distributed workforce,” says Fallert.

In the meantime, Ben has three income streams: a SaaS charge; interchange income each time its playing cards get used; and, in fact, affiliate income from its market.

Provides the Ben CEO: “One in every of our core hypotheses is that there are such a lot of wonderful providers on the market that merely can’t get by to corporations as they’re usually not related for all staff, comparable to debt consolidation or fertility remedy. With Ben, they get straightforward distribution on commonplace industrial phrases whereas corporations get to supply a further profit with none extra overhead”.

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