London-based HR tech startup Ben that looks forward to making a difference in the employee benefits spectrum, has roped in USD 2.5 million in a seed financing round.
An impressive assortment of investors funded the seed round, and the names include Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise), Cherry Ventures, Seedcamp, Paul Forster (Indeed.com), Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas (GoCardless, now Index Ventures), Philip Reynolds (Workday), and Matt Robinson (Nested).
The idea behind
Ben intends to empower SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to customize benefits and rewards for every employee, with the blend of a SaaS (Software as a service) platform and a per-employee Mastercard that comes with financial infrastructure.
The HR tech startup claims that it can work on any existing employee benefits program and instantly add flexibility, so its clients’ staff members can have the option to select as per their preference.
Established in late 2019, just before the global pandemic was the reason for massive spikes in remote working and the requirement for a simple and uncomplicated system for employee benefits, Ben already provided services to more than 100 enterprises, including names like Impala, Improbable, and Lightricks.
The story behind Ben
Ben was the brainchild of Sebastian Fallert, who also co-founded Berlin-based JustBook and sold it to Secret Escapes in 2013, and David Duckworth, who formerly worked for companies like HSBC, Mosaic Ventures, and SoundCloud.
Interestingly, the HR tech startup offers “Ben at Home,” a FOC (free of cost) version of its product that provides free remote engagement for teams. With this, employees can attend live virtual events ranging from meditation to cocktail mixing and enjoy discounts on various wellbeing services.
Fallert explains, “The problem with benefits is clear: while they are meant to attract, engage, and ultimately drive productivity, the status quo doesn’t lead to desired outcomes. Our software platform allows companies to load funds and set individual spend rules on how these can be used. Employees are then able to choose from group benefits, such as private medical insurance, mental wellbeing services, or dental plans, while a real per-employee Mastercard opens the door to pretty much any product or service in a tax-efficient and compliant way.”
He adds, “It’s a win-win: Employees get tailored benefits, and companies only pay for what’s used, take advantage of tax exemptions and preferred pricing while streamlining the administration.