Employee benefits platform BEN announced today that it has raised $16 million in the series.
While salary is the main consideration in a company’s compensation offering, additional “perks” can help sweeten the deal for current or former employees – this could range from gym allowances or ebike subscriptions, to meal allowances and mental wellbeing support. But maintaining and connecting all these different benefits is a huge resource-intensive endeavor that Ben plans to tackle.
In the year Founded in London in 2019, Ben is a SaaS platform that offers core job benefits like life insurance, health and pensions, as well as lifestyle-based benefits like gym memberships and work-from-home allowances. .
While Ben targets the human resources (HR) realm, he essentially crosses the HR and fintech divide, integrating with accounting, HR and payroll to automate many of the onboarding and onboarding processes. Through the platform, employers can create budgets, set controls for each employee’s benefits, and streamline the entire payment process for the service provider. On top of that, Ben can issue Mastercards that each employee can use for any benefits they want within company-mandated limits.
“What was once a huge burden for HR teams to collect and manage is now brought together and delivered through the Ben platform,” Ben founder and CEO Sebastian Fallert told TechCrunch.
A quick look at the employee benefits landscape reveals several similar companies, including Forma, which recently announced a $40 million Series B round of funding in March, while London-based Juno raised $4 million.
Ben, meanwhile, is touting “end-to-end flexibility” and comprehensive benefits as its main differentiator, with regulated “core” (eg life insurance and pensions) products and lifestyle (eg gym) benefits.
“On the ‘core’ front, we can provide country-specific coverage through our global network of brokers and enrollment technology,” said Ben Founder and COO David Duckworth. “This is important, so companies always get the best combination of coverage and price. On the lifestyle front, we have relationships with benefits providers and can enable spending controls on Ben MasterCard to turn any merchant into a benefit, including spending lifestyle budgets on premium products.”
On top of that, Duckworth also points out that Ben is an “open” platform that isn’t locked into a set of benefits.
“Companies are not limited to specific suppliers and can bring their own supplier and broker relationships, while Ben oversees the ongoing management,” he said.
It’s important to note that the key premise behind the “broadness” and variability of benefits offered is that different people have different needs based on different circumstances – including their age.
“This is the first time in history that four generations have lived together at the same time,” Fallert added. “Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z participate in a complex global economy, and their benefits requirements vary and change. Most companies, which spend 33% of payroll on benefits, are reevaluating their traditional benefits to align with culturally and ethnically diverse global groups.”
In an environment of persistent talent shortages and massive layoffs, it’s clear that there is a growing need for technologies that can help attract and retain workers. And in fact, lead investor Atomico has a track record of backing niche companies, including Peakon, which went into business last year in a $700 million deal. JobbandTalent, which was valued at $2.35 last December; and Gympass, which recently received a $2.2 billion valuation.
Ben previously raised $2.5 million in seed funding, and with another $16 million in the bank, the company is now well-funded to address the complexities of benefits for small and medium enterprise customers. And in the three years since its founding, Ben has secured several sizeable clients, including Zalando, Deliveroo, Funding Circle and Bitpanda.
“Employees are looking for more choice in the benefits they want and employers need flexibility, but it’s still complicated and expensive,” Falert said.
In addition to lead backer Atomico, Ben’s Series A round also included investments from Cherry Ventures, DN Capital, Seedcamp, and founders and executives of prominent fintech/HR companies including Peakon, Remote, and Personio.