Startup benme Attracted the Second Investment – 100,000 Eur for Further Development
Personalized employee benefits and suppliers management platform has attracted a second investment – 100,000 Eur from two private business angels. The platform benme solves the problem of finding and purchasing motivating benefits for employees and offers a convenient tool that allows them to choose the desired services from an open network of international partners.
“Over the last two months many changes have taken place in the startup – the platform user count has grown more than 10 times, the team has doubled, we have moved into a new office, have become an international business – we expanded in 18 countries, have established partnerships with foreign suppliers”, says the founder and CEO of the startup Irma Bučinskaitė.
The startup started developing this idea at the beginning of 2021 during the TechHub pre-accelerator implemented by the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA). In the August of the same year, benme received the first 50,000 Eur investment from acceleration fund Startup Wise Guys and participated in the acceleration program. benme is currently is on the way for a third investment (pre-seed).
The startup acts as an intermediary between the employers and the benefit-providing partners all over the world – the company’s employees select the benefits they like from the suppliers according to the employer’s pre-budget, and benme administers all processes and gives invoices to the employers of all benefits received during the agreed period. According to I. Bučinskaitė, the solution can be applied very universally, even from gifts to employees, to communicate with them, so the development of a startup is certainly not finite.
“This startup was born out of a great demand – according to statistics, 45 percent of all employers face difficulties in developing an employee motivation package, and as many as 60 percent of employees rate it as only partially successful. This means that employees are dissatisfied with the benefits offered by employers. Nowadays, when we witness a shortage in employees, a personalized benefit basket formed according to their real needs might help to attract them and increase loyalty,” says I. Bučinskaitė.
Currently, benme continues to develop its product, grow its team, increase the number of customers and partners, and improve its internal processes to maintain stable startup growth. In the near future, the startup intends to focus on product development in foreign markets, strengthening alternative sales channels, and increasing brand awareness.
The main challenges facing the team are the lack of state incentives and tax breaks. “Only investment funds or private investors help us, so the biggest challenges are at the beginning of the business when we compete with developed businesses for hiring or attracting employees, unable to offer them a competitive salary or other additional benefits at an early stage. Therefore, we are always looking for ways to create added value for our employees, and so far we are happy to have a high-level team,” says the founder of the startup.
According to I. Bučinskaitė, participation in startup support programs helped to lay the foundations for the investment attraction and accelerate the development process: “TechHub” pre-accelerator was a trampoline for our company, thanks to the program we were noticed by the European “Startup Wise Guys” investment fund. The pre-accelerator provided us with knowledge, helped us test the idea, and provided unlimited mentor support. It for sure helped us believe in this product.”