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Employee engagement startup Perkbox secures £2.5M from Draper Espirit

Perkbox
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Perkbox, a U.K. startup that offers an employee engagement platform to help companies retain employees (and customers), has raked in £2.5 million from publicly listed European VC Draper Esprit.

Originally, this startup was launched in 2011 as Huddlebuy, a group-buying platform for SMEs. It has since re-branded, conceptualizing the idea of developing a “digital engagement platform” to enable companies of all sizes (including startups) to look after their staff and customers via various perks and benefits.

This has been the newest round of funding, the previous one being five years ago, when it raised £350,000. The latest round follows the recent launch of the company’s equity crowdfunding campaign. Perk box is seeking to raise up to an additional £2 million at a considerable pre-money valuation of £75.4 million. This makes it the highest valued startup to attempt to crowdfund on Seedrs.

In a statement to TechCrunch, co-founder and CEO Saurav Chopra says,

In the U.K., just 39 per cent of employees are engaged and only 28 per cent of consumers are loyal to their providers. Our digital platform helps brands connect and engage with their employees and customers through boosting financial, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Perkbox has a three-fold philosophy: looking after its customers’ financial, emotional and physical well-being. Financially, Perkbox offers employees subscription to its platform with over 200 perks, including things like free phone insurance, cinema tickets, and 2 for 1 meal deals when eating out. Chopra claims that they are one of the biggest buyers of cinema tickets, and also notes that that working capital, along with investing in growth, is one of the reasons why Perkbox has chosen to raise funding at this time.

For “emotional” well-being, Perkbox has built out an online rewards & recognition system, which encourages managers to reward employees with physical rewards, and enables teammates and peers to recognise each other’s work by exchanging digital badges. These include being labeled “King of the Kettle”, “Office DJ” and “Sales Superstar”. It’s quite a light and interesting touch.

As for the “physical,” delivered via Perkbox’s Wellness Hub, which Chopra describes as a collection of professionally made cooking and exercise videos, there is also a free 24/7 employee assistance helpline “to boost well-being and reduce sick days”. Chopra adds,

We also have ‘Perkbox for customers’ — an advanced customer loyalty programme that helps businesses to acquire, engage and retain a loyal customer base. Our programmes can be white labelled, extending customer branding across the whole customer experience.

The platform currently boasts over 300,000 paying members, and expects to hit one million by the end of the year. According to TechCrunch, this translates into £10 million in revenue last year and is predicted to reach £15 million in revenue for this year. Chopra also says he’s confident of delivering over £25 million in revenue the following year. The startup’s team has now grown to over 105 people. Chopra says,

Customers can include SMEs with 5 employees to some of the U.K.’s largest brands and fastest growing startups. Deliveroo, Worldpay, Le Pain Quotidian, Holland & Barrett, BlaBlaCar, these are just a few of our well-known customers.


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