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Roger Lee, Courtney Chow, Isabel von Stauffenberg  |  March 9, 2022
Flexibility With Flash: Bringing Employee Benefits Into the 21st Century

When we consider job offers, most of us (at least in the office-worker realm) no longer consider paychecks alone. When we join new companies, we consider a suite of ancillary benefits—will our new jobs offer us health insurance? A food allowance? Perhaps we can get a taxi home if we work late, or a stipend if we’re asked to move to a new place? In other words: Workers expect more from their employers, particularly now that the fight for talent has made hiring even more competitive. It’s become quite clear – to attract and retain talent, a firm has to offer a more holistic compensation package than sending a monthly paycheck.

This is especially true in Brazil, where employees are entitled to a minimum set of monthly benefits, which often include vouchers for groceries, meals, and transportation—a requirement of Brazilian labor law and union agreements since the 1970s. However, it has historically been difficult for employees to utilize and access their vouchers; in Brazil, money for these benefits has generally been distributed via pre-paid cards from four large incumbent providers, who together account for around 90-95% of the benefits industry. These decades-old, legacy businesses have an antiquated way of offering benefits. They have built what we view as a rigid and inflexible experience to employees that includes limitations on where their benefits can be used; these incumbents also operate in closed-looped systems where benefits can only be used at a pre-determined set of merchants. Given this structure, employees frequently find themselves carrying around multiple cards for each spend category (supermarkets, restaurants, commuting, etc.).

In fact, according to Battery research, this process is so inefficient that a staggering 40% of employees in Brazil admit to selling their vouchers on illegal secondary markets at steep discounts. While a modern, more-savvy workforce expects more from their employers, the mechanisms by which they may access these additional benefits remain stuck in the past—and as a consequence, many Brazilian employees do not take advantage of the compensation promised to them.

That’s why we could not be more excited to partner with Flash* and co-lead the company’s Series C financing round with our friends at Whale Rock Capital Management. Flash is a next-generation, flexible benefits platform that allows employees the ability to spend their benefits money at any place, at any time. Employees may use Flash to manage their benefits balances and spending in a single app, as well as collect rewards and incentives from firms like Uber and Gympass. In other words, Flash is bringing Brazilian benefits into the twenty-first century, making life easier for both employees and employers.

We are thrilled to be welcoming Ricardo, Pedro, Guilherme, Ademar, and the rest of the Flash crew to the Battery family. The team’s unwavering vision and belief was clear from the day that we met them, and we are pleased to be supporting Flash as the company continues its path to become the one-stop-shop for Brazilian HR and benefits. We are strong believers that Latin America has the potential to produce some of the world’s most innovative technology firms, and we are excited to embark on this long and fruitful journey alongside a brilliant set of entrepreneurs.

See here for Portuguese translation (veja aqui para tradução em português).

See here for Spanish translation (Ver aquí para la traducción al español).

Battery Ventures provides investment advisory services solely to privately offered funds. Battery Ventures neither solicits nor makes its services available to the public or other advisory clients. For more information about Battery Ventures’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies, please refer to our website.

*Denotes a past or present Battery portfolio company. For a full list of all Battery investments, please click here. No assumptions should be made that any investments identified above were or will be profitable. It should not be assumed that recommendations in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of the companies identified above.

Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this post nor notify its readers in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

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