Can this startup solve the HR headache that is digital nomads? It just raised $12M to try
In the new era of remote and hybrid working, companies need to manage people who either relocate or work remotely. For obvious reasons, that has created a huge headache for HR directors.
Back in 2014, FlatClub had an apartment rental platform. But a chance encounter encouraged them to pivot in 2017 to become Benivo, a B2B SaaS HR platform solution for mobile or moving workforces. They then used the funding and revenues from the consumer business to scale up the new company.
The result is a $12 million growth funding round led by Updata Partners, a Growth Equity Fund, which brings the total amount invested in the company to $30 million. Not bad for a startup that began with apartments.
Playing in a similar space to Benivo is Topia, formerly MoveGuides, which has burned through around $140 million. Benivo has now managed to secure clients including Google, Mondelez, General Electric, Phillips 66, Unity, Wayfair, CGI, Bloomberg and around 50 others.
The so-called "global mobility" market is pretty large, but many processes are still manual and often require the use of several platforms by staff or their companies.
Benivo’s pitch is that it uses AI to automate and predictive analytics to help that poor person in HR who needs to move staff around, or monitor where the hell they are going.
Founder Nitzan Yudan tells me the journey started in Silicon Roundabout’s original startup co-working space TechHub, when a chance meeting with the Google HR team resulted in the idea to pivot in this new direction.
“Despite presenting Google with the ugliest page in the history of internet pages (which was our not-even-MVP product then), they cared about their employees and really wanted to solve a problem. So they went ahead with us. With Google as our first client, deciding to pivot from the consumer business and stop competing with Airbnb was a natural step for the company,” he said via email.
Benivo says it competes on various levels with "Assignment Management Systems" such as Equus, Topia, KPMG and "Relocation Management Companies" such as SIRVA, Cartus, BGRS, AIRES, Altair, but addresses both issues with a single platform.
The company will use the new funding to grow its teams in the U.S., U.K., Armenia and India.