Swile raises $78.7 million for its corporate lunch card and benefits app

Tech News

French startup Swile, the startup formerly known as Lunchr, raised a $78.7 million (€70 million) Series C round a few months ago. The startup wants to manage all your corporate benefits and improve team building in general.

Index Ventures is leading the round, Bpifrance and Idinvest are also participating. Index Ventures already led the company’s Series B round.

The company first launched a payment card for your lunch. In France, companies have to contribute to lunch when it’s in the middle of a workday. Some companies offer a cafeteria with cheap meals, others hand out meal vouchers.

Until recently, those meal vouchers were made out of paper. The vast majority of restaurants accept those vouchers as a payment method. Legacy meal voucher companies started offering prepaid cards that are specifically designed to work in restaurants and stores that participate in the network.

Swile took advantage of that shift to offer a card that works better than what legacy players offer. For instance, you can associate a debit card with your account so that your debit card is used if you pay for an expensive lunch above your daily limit. There are 210,000 people using Swile across 8,000 companies.

With today’s funding round, the company plans to expand to another popular type of benefits for French companies — gift cards. Every year, employee representatives receive a budget from the company. They can choose to support employees in different ways, including by offering gift cards before the holidays.

Swile wants to turn its card into an all-in-one payment solution for those specific use cases. You’ll be able to spend your gift card budget with your Swile card. Eventually, Swile could offer more ways to manage benefits, such as the ability for companies to pay for part of public transportation subscriptions.

In addition to those fintech services, the company is taking advantage of the fact that 100% of employees have a Swile account as it is part of the benefits package.

The startup wants to improve corporate culture with additional features in the app. For instance, you can celebrate events, create money pots, pay back your co-workers and create team building events from Swile. Those features should improve retention as Swile is expanding beyond a utility app.

Up next, the company plans to expand to Brazil starting this year. In 2021, Swile will look at other European countries for further expansions.

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