Other than the collaborative photo sharing apps which I covered earlier this month, another vertical which is quickly rising as a vertical to watch is definitely employees benefits platforms.
The value proposition is clear. Companies and startups are increasingly facing problems retaining talent among the new workforce which is typically made up of the Generation Y demographic. Employee benefits platforms thus come in and provide options for companies to offer great employee benefits. Here are some of the employee benefits platform that have caught our eyes.
AnyPerk – Silicon Valley / Japan
Probably the leader in this space is Japan based AnyPerk. Founded by Silicon Valley based Taro Fukuyama and his co-founders, AnyPerk officially launched in March 2012 to provide employees with perks in fitness, entertainment, travel, team building, and much more. AnyPerk is the first Japanese company to be accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator. With more than 250 partners on board including Equinox, AT&T, Verizon, and AMC, the company currently serves over 2,500 customers including Pinterest, Quora, and Hulu. Earlier in March, AnyPerk raised US$1.4 million from Digital Garage, Ben Lewis, Michael Liou, Cyberagent and Shogo Kawada.
Rewardz – Singapore
In Singapore, there is Rewardz, which provides a one-stop access to employees benefits. Founded by Nicole Seah, Himanshu Chaudhari and Jaya Maru, Rewardz is currently working with almost 100 partners in Singapore, including Raffles Medical Group, RedMart, Curves, Foodpanda, Resorts World Sentosa, and many more. Some of its existing customers includes BillPin, Teamie, Happy Marketer and many more. Rewardz pitched at our Echelon Singapore Satellite earlier in April.
Read also: TradeHero, iCarsClub win Singapore Satellite
PerkPool – Malaysia
In Malaysia, PerkPool is the employee benefits platform for local companies. PerkPool is founded by Melissa Lee, who was previously the vice president at Rocket Internet Malaysia. PerkPool is currently partnering with more than 50 companies, including SME Talent, Luxola, Optimax, Meridians, Strip and many more, bringing their perks to a growing pool of customers. PerkPool also recently pitched at our Echelon Malaysia Satellite earlier in April.
Will it work?
Maybe. Yes because the companies slowly understand the need to offer more than just competitive salaries to their employees. Employee benefits platforms offer companies a cheap option to “outsource” a portion of their HR work at a relatively cheap price. So the pitch to thousands of SMEs and companies suddenly becomes clear, and all of a sudden, there is a very compelling “market demand” for all the potential partners of these employee benefits platform. Partners sign up, and give these platform a try, or a mini experiment. So that settles the supply side.
What about the demand side?
In my opinion, the success of these platforms very much depends on whether employees are using these perks. While all the perks are made available to the employees, whether or not the individual employees redeem and use them will determine the attractiveness of these platforms to the partners. A simple calculation at the back of my mind: Let’s say you have 100 SMEs with 20 employees, that gives you 2,000 users. Let’s further assume a 5 percent active employees actively redeeming perks spreading across 50 partners. If you look at it this way, these platforms might not be that attractive, and sets a somewhat weak demand from the employees.
So what can be done? For starters, employee benefits platforms should choose their partners carefully, and only partners who are the leader in that particular industry. For instance, partner only one fitness partner, or a medical partner. This gives them the idea of exclusivity. Who doesn’t like that? Choosing one exclusive partner also means that you make sure you are working with only one industry leader with the best service. This provides more value, and subsequently increases the attractiveness to both the employees and the partner.
Of course, once you reach a substantial amount of users, and sign on huge clients with a large number of employees, that’s an entirely different story.