Our Investment in Ben: Creating a global ecosystem for employee benefits
For the first time in history, four generations coexist in the workforce at the same time. Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z work in offices or at home, alone or in teams, and across all time zones in an increasingly digital world. Each group has its own varying lifestyles and needs with significant differences even within generations.
For workers, this unprecedented mix has shone a spotlight on the fragmented and antiquated employee benefits market, which has rapidly expanded without the infrastructure needed to support it. This has resulted in a vast web of benefits that employers are expected to unpick to offer desirable packages that will attract and retain talent.
Providing core benefits like health and disability insurance, pension schemes, and paid vacation, have historically fallen to employers, but the list of possible benefits has grown steadily longer over time. In recent years, the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns has snowballed into what is now a booming “employee wellbeing” market that is worth more than $50-$60 billion. Employees now expect non-core benefits from flexible work schedules and locations, earned wage access to mental health, fertility and parenthood support, and more. Despite the influx of options, there has been no central system for employers to source and manage their benefits packages and employee benefit engagement sits at less than 20%, with companies wasting billions of dollars on unused, one-size fits all benefits packages.
That’s why we are thrilled to announce our investment in Ben, the employee benefits platform offering a solution to a largely undigitised market. Ben relieves pressure on HR professionals by eliminating the cumbersome administration of handling different benefit providers while offering a wealth of benefit options to boost employee satisfaction.
Co-founders Sebastian and David founded Ben in 2019 after recognising an urgent need to modernise the employee benefit experience for all players in the ecosystem. A lack of digital infrastructure meant that even technology companies were relying on manual processes to manage benefit packages. While Sebastian cut his teeth successfully scaling and selling a startup to Secret Escapes, David acquired relevant experience in payment infrastructure at global banks including HSBC, making them the perfect team to tackle this issue.
Ben’s solution combines software and payments to let employees spend on what matters to them, and eliminate complexity for employers managing global workforces. Ben also offers the option of a per-employee Ben Mastercard and flexible allowance function that means companies can set budgets and spending rules to empower employees to take full control. The benefits of Ben are already felt by many of the world’s fastest growing global companies, used by 150+ companies globally, from mid-sized, fully distributed companies to large enterprises.
Ben will use this investment to accelerate the development of its SaaS and payments technology and expand its global employer customer base. Sebastian and David will also invest in building their team to help achieve their goal of supplying the technology infrastructure for all global benefits and, in doing so, enabling employers to attract and retain the best talent.