- The platform for employee benefits Re:benefit raises a €1.2M round led by Vitosha Venture Partners and joined by New Vision 3 and Impetus Capital.
- Founded in 2021 by Milen Manev, George Lilianov, and George Gueorguiev, the HR software company has enjoyed strong user adoption in the last year, expanding its customer base to 10K active users.
- The investment will be used for further development of the product, expansion to neighboring markets in the next 2 years, and boosting the company’s sales and marketing efforts.
In essence, Re:benefit is a flexible benefits platform that helps organizations to create benefits and rewards experiences for their employees. The HR software company allows employees to individually select their monthly benefits package from dozens of selected vendors. In this way, the startup serves not only HR managers, but also employees, and vendors. By offering employees a large selection of flexible perks, Re:benefit helps employers attract and retain talent. The mission of the company is to transform the way companies provide employee benefits, by creating a solution that is a win-win-win for employers, employees, and service providers.
“Re:bnefit enables managers to attract and keep employees by offering them a platform where each employee can select from dozens of different benefits every month. This solves a significant administrative problem for HR managers and brings a huge client base with thousands of customers to the vendors. It’s one of those cases where the model not just makes perfect sense but has also been proven to be perfect unicorn material in faraway markets,” Stoyan Nedin, Partner at Vitosha Venture Partners, explains.
The investment follows the rapid early-stage growth and product adoption of the HR management solution of Re:benefit in 2021 and 2022. Starting off with a non-existent user base in January 2021, the HR software company quickly gained traction and managed to close its first operating year with 5K employees. Today, the user base of the startup has doubled. More than 30 companies trust its flexible perks solution and almost 60 benefit vendors have integrated their offerings in the platform.
Strong founding team from the start
With over 20 years of managerial experience in the software and IT industry, Milen Manev’s last corporate position was vice president of the US cloud-based human capital management (HCM) company SyncHR. There, he was able to validate the need for HR, benefits, and payroll management software for SMEs and corporations, and learned what works and what doesn’t in the HR management industry.
This is not the first entrepreneurial endeavor of Manev – besides Re:benefit, he founded the software development and consulting company, Next Solutions, where he currently serves as CEO, and co-founded the financial planning startup PlanDelta, where he currently serves as CTO. In parallel, he is an investor in several other early-stage companies.
George Gueorguiev, on the other hand, is a co-founder and managing partner of the investment firm Yanva&Disava Capital as well as a member of the boards of several Bulgarian tech companies. He brings 20 years of experience in international IT and telecom companies such as VMware, Adecco, Motorola, and Xerox. Gueorguiev is also one of the founding members of some of the largest business associations in Bulgaria including BASSCOM (Bulgarian Association of Software Companies) and AIBEST.
The third founder of Re:benefit is George Lilianov, a fintech and banking professional and Associate Partner at the Bulgarian B2B payments and online banking provider Paynetics.
Are flexible perks the answer to a happy workforce?
Gueorguiev explains that as a general manager of several different companies throughout his career, he has witnessed how perks and benefits are big differentiators in the war for talent. Since salary and the nature of work are easily predictable, the additional benefits are the factor that drives many employees to choose one employer over the other. However, bigger organizations cannot possibly tailor their benefit packages and offering to the needs and likes of every single employee.
According to research that Re:benefit did at the beginning of 2021, less than 5% of the companies in Bulgaria offer their employees some form of choice in terms of benefits. Thus, around 40-50% of the company’s perks are never utilized by employees.
“Aiming to invest in around 100 companies, at Vitosha we are interested in almost all verticals, and no doubt HR tech is a lucrative one, with companies experiencing increasing challenges to find talent and Europe being in front of a major demographic crisis,” Stoyan Nedin comments on the interest of Vitosha Venture Partners in the HR tech vertical.