One thing you read over and over is how little loyalty the millennial generation has toward their employers. In an age when people will have more jobs during their lifetime than every before, many companies, it seems, no longer feel the need to give employees incentives to stay. The attitude seems to be: why bother when they're going to leave anyway?
Maybe that kind of mindset is changing, though, as evidenced by the rise of "perks," or special discounts and incentives to get workers to want to come, and stay, at the company. It's an easy way to increase worker satisfaction and retention, and to create an atmosphere where employees can thrive.
AnyPerk, a company which provides a platform that provides employee perks and discounts to companies, has just raised $8.5 million in Series A funding, it was announced on Tuesday. The round was led by Osuke Honda of DCM Ventures, with participation from original AnyPerk investor Digital Garage.
The company had previously raised $1 million in 2013, followed by another $3 million in June of last year. This latest round brings its total funding to $13 million; previous investors have included Andreesen-Horowitz, SV Angel and Y Combinator, and Tony Hsieh and Zach Ware of Vegas Tech Fund; Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora; Vayner RSE; and FundersClub.
Founded in 2009, the San Francisco-based AnyPerk has a platform designed to not only help employees keep track of their perks, but to simply tell them what those are perks are, and how to access them.
The company has partnered with hundreds of vendors to provide employee discounts in spaces that include fitness, entertainment and travel, including Cinemark, Regal, AMC, Avis, Zagat, Homejoy,Match.com and Optimizely. Last year the company teamed up with Lyft to offer such discounts on movie tickets, spa treatments, hotel packages, virtual assistants and visits to the vet.
AnyPerk has negotiated over 700 corporate discounts for its customers, and since it raised its last funding, the company has been growing fast, by over 200%.
"Our revenue has grown dramatically—by over 200% in the six months since that round closed, and our customer base almost doubled in that same period. The discrepancy is because we've added scores of larger customers," AnyPerk CEO Taro Fukuyama told me in an interview.
"While our value to small and medium-sized business has been clear from the beginning -- it's awesome that small companies can offer what amount to corporate discounts and inside offers -- these much bigger companies are also calling us, because they recognize that perks can make a difference, and we've made it so simple and affordable to offer and manage them."
Since then, the company has also added over 300 perks, including a variety of tax preparation services; major electronics like Sony, XBox, Jawbone, and other products and services; auto perks, such as Goodyear and Jiffy Lube; Coinbase, which is "increasingly valuable for tech companies and their employees that keep an eye on bitcoin"; and BrightFunds, which lets employees get their charitable donations matched by third parties, even if their employer is too small or otherwise doesn't or can't match those individual contributions.
AnyPerk says that it will use the round to strengthen its core perks offering and fuel innovation of new products and services focused on employee happiness.
"We’re currently working on a mobile app that will make it easier to take advantage of perks while employees are on-the-go. Plus, since our long-term vision is to do a variety of things to help companies increase employees' happiness, we’re working on a beta version of a rewards product (we’ll announce that formally soon, so hopefully we don’t have to publicize that much)," said Fukuyama.
"The additions are important because we know factors that drive employee happiness—and in turn, productivity and retention—are recognizing employee’s work ,and doing what they can to make their everyday lives easier. Both new products help with those objectives, and we have more in the pipeline. "
It will also go toward hiring on virtually all fronts: sales, marketing, engineering, and business development, in particular.
In addition to the new funding, it was also revealed that Honda will be joining the Board of Directors at AnyPerk.
"We invested in AnyPerk because we believe employee happiness is becoming increasingly vital to a company's bottom line," Honda said in a statement. "AnyPerk is leading the $50 billion enterprise rewards market by delivering products focused on helping companies attract and retain employees while creating a culture that encourages greater employee engagement and ultimately greater productivity."
(Image source: brandisty.com)