If the ambitions of a company are validated at the height of its fundraising, Swile’s bet is successful. The Montpellier start-up, known in France for having dematerialized meal vouchers, announces, Monday, October 11, its fourth round of funding for an amount of 200 million dollars (173 million euros), with the main investor Japanese SoftBank, the world’s largest fund focused on technology companies. In less than four years of existence, she has already joined the club of tricolor unicorns – these young shoots valued more than 1 billion dollars, numbering about twenty.
When it was created, the company launched by Loïc Soubeyrand (previously co-founder and manager of Teads) took advantage of the very low digitization of meal vouchers, with all the handicaps linked to paper documents: inability to pay one’s bill to the nearest cent, risk of loss, delays in delivery to employees …
Faced with the historical leaders (Edenred, Sodexo) in a market estimated at 7 billion euros in annual expenditure, Swile now claims 13% market share, growing by 4 to 5 points per year. “Today, 40% of companies that switch from paper to dematerialized format do so with us”, underlines the boss of the company, which claims 15,000 customers for 500,000 users worldwide. Carrefour, its largest customer, alone distributes 70,000 cards to its employees.
Extend the range of services offered
Swile, which does not provide information on its income, finances itself through a system of subscriptions and a commission levied on transactions carried out by traders (restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries) … But the company is already thinking bigger and wants to capitalize on its presence in companies – in particular very small and medium-sized businesses, which constitute the vast majority of its customers – to broaden the range of services it can offer them.
His idea: to allow employees to access their salary benefits with a single card. In addition to meal vouchers, its card now includes gift vouchers that companies can issue and, soon, sustainable mobility aids as well as a feature to manage business expenses. “We want this to be the card you use for all types of expenses in a professional context”, explains Mr. Soubeyrand.
The company also relies on the application backed by its card to make it a product at the center of its strategy. “We are going to launch a whole set of functionalities making it possible to centralize all the needs of employees (vacation request, expense reports, salary slips) and to strengthen links within the company with the creation of events and prize pools. . “ The new service, in development for more than a year, is due to launch in early 2022.
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