Discovering new talents is the most important need in the startup ecosystem. Wellbees is the new generation employee well-being platform developed for employees in business-to-business software-as-a-service (B2B SaaS) format.
Used by more than 100,000 employees in over 40 companies in 17 countries and recently launched into the UK, Wellbees has now received a $2.2 million seed investment.
The investment has been led by 212, a Luxembourg-headquartered venture capital (VC) that invests in growth-stage tech companies across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.
The investment will be used to increase Wellbees’ effectiveness, especially in the UK and MENA markets, as well as establishing a Data Science Team, to understand more efficacy and analyze the impact on employee well being, its founder, Melis Abacıoğlu, said.
The other MENA and UK-based venture capital firms that participated in the investment include Mindshift Capital, which backs women-led companies, Doha Tech Angels, Qatar’s first private angel fund, Assist Ventures, whose team includes Tom James known for being the first angel investor into Zendesk, and Sarus Select Capital, the early-stage investor focusing on scalable B2B technology startups.
Investment in human resources technology started to accelerate during the pandemic, said Abacıoğlu.
“Over $14 billion was invested in 2021 globally, a threefold increase compared to 2019, with benefits and employee well-being ranking second for these investments. Deloitte Insights 2021 predict that by 2040 two-thirds of all health spending will be in well being,” she said.
Fueled by consumer demand, the employee well-being market, already worth $60 billion, will experience further growth, a statement by the company said. It noted that Wellbees is well placed to take advantage of this rising demand.
Abacıoğlu said the company would use the investment to increase its share in new markets, while also investing in deep technology.
“We will continue to grow, especially in the MENA region and the UK, where we recently opened our first international office. On the other hand, establishing a Data Science Team means we will be able to measure and scientifically improve the impact we have on the lives and cultures of employees. We will be able to enhance the experience we offer our customers and ultimately present individual users with their individual ‘formula for happiness,’” she explained.
She said data shows that employees using their platform tend to be 50% less likely to leave their jobs and tend to be more than 10% happier after starting to use Wellbees.
The company said the data team would help build algorithms that make personalized well-being suggestions to individuals, provide more sophisticated choices and recognize previously hidden patterns, and offer Human Resources (HR) departments more ideas and recommendations around their employee well-being trends.
“Another goal of this investment round is to provide an even better experience to our team and all our customers that have allowed us to get to this point with all these developments,” said Abacıoğlu.
Explaining that Wellbees plans to start the next round investment within 12 months, Abacioğlu continued: “The number of unicorn companies in the UK has been increasing rapidly recently. Our ambition though is different, we are working to be a platform that creates value for the world, balances profit and purpose, and invites people to share power and resources.”
Although 20% of all startups globally have a female founder, only 2.3% of them get institutional investment. “We are happy to contribute to the other side of this metric. We are proudly a 62% female-led company, including our tech team, and strive to continue with a balanced recruitment strategy,” she noted.
With 80 million euros ($83.1 million) under management and 26 investments, 212 finances B2B tech solutions with significant traction, a clear product-market fit, and readiness to scale globally.
212 partner Maher Hakim, who now joins the Wellbees board, said they believe that human resources technologies will continue to thrive.
“We specifically appreciate the important role of corporate well-being solutions in the future of work. We know of no better candidates than Melis and her Wellbees team to partner up within this sector. With more than 40 clients in 17 countries and nine languages – bootstrapped with minimal angel investment – 212 stands ready to supercharge Wellbees’s future growth,” said Hakim.
By also building local “teams on the ground,” Wellbees says it will strengthen its value proposition and will also have dedicated, native language customer success teams along with marketing and sales team members to support the company’s growth.
Its HR tech solution is a one-stop-shop experience for HR professionals and employees alike, allowing employees to gain better habits and thus contributing to their better lives. The platform covers all eight aspects of well being: mental, physical, spiritual, social, environmental, occupational, intellectual and financial.