Swile, a French fintech startup that offers digital solutions for employee rewards and benefits through a custom card and app, has raised a whopping €70 million in a funding round led by Index Ventures, with new investor Large Venture - a Bpifrance VC fund - and prior backer Idinvest participating.
Founded in 2018 by Loïc Soubeyrand (who previously co-founded Teads and sold it to Altice the year before that) under the name Lunchr, Swile has now raised €115 million in total. Its latest valuation was not disclosed.
The Paris-based startup has declared war on the outdated French paper meal voucher market by providing a range of digital solutions, but it plans to use the capital injection to both extend beyond its 'e-meal vouchers' and lunch break experiences, and to expand internationally (starting with Brazil).
In short, the scale-up plans to introduce a new product that enables corporate gifts (another reward commonly used to incentivise French workers) to be distributed to employees using the same system described above, and the addition of features to "improve life at work and employee engagement".
Swile, which currently boasts 230 employees across 8 cities, says it has already attracted more than 8,000 corporate customers. It aims to retain these and grow its client base by centralising all its existing and new rewards and benefits (meal vouchers, corporate gifts, transportation and commuter benefits, vacation allowances and more) to be stored and managed via a single account, card and application.
Martin Mignot, a partner at Index Ventures, comments: "The emergence of new ways of working is forcing companies to adopt digital solutions to improve employee engagement and team cohesiveness, wherever they are. Swile makes it easier for businesses to care for an increasingly disparate workforce by providing tailored benefits through an easy-to-use, pre-paid card and app. This creates additional spend in restaurants and other small businesses, which in turn supports local communities".
Says Soubeyrand: "This new round of funding will allow us to ambitiously diversify our product offering and expand internationally after our success in France. Our market opportunity is global, resilient and growing rapidly. The recent sanitary crisis has highlighted the fundamental corporate switch towards digital employee benefits, as well as the importance of promoting and maintaining team cohesiveness, which will create new opportunities for Swile's global growth in the future".
Swile says it identified Brazil for rapid growth of its solutions, but that it will also expand to other European countries in 2021.