Juno, a London-based employee benefits platform, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $4M (approximately €3.7M) led by Hoxton Ventures.
Angel investors, including the CEOs of Learnerbly (Rajeeb Dey MBE), Captify (Adam Ludwin), OysterHR (Tony Jamous), Paddle (Christian Owens), Jungle Creations (Jamie Boulding), SuperAwesome (Joshua Wohle), and Heights (Dan Murray-Serter), also participated.
Juni says the latest capital injection will enable it to accelerate product development and add additional services, such as physical debit cards for purchasing benefits and a fully integrated marketplace. The UK company also plans to use the funds to expand its operation across global markets, including the US and Europe.
Ally Fekaiki, founder and CEO of Juno, says, “This new injection of funding will enable us to bring better benefits and support to more workers globally. As hybrid workforces grapple with a teetering work-life balance and the rising cost of living, empowering employees to take charge of their benefits can make all the difference. For some, that might mean knowing their childcare is covered. For others, it might mean having a mealbox ready and waiting for them at the end of the day. Benefits that genuinely benefit people are not one-size-fits-all – and everything we do is designed with this in mind.”
What does Juno solve?
According to Juno, there’s a disconnect between workplace benefits and how employees perceive this support.
A report by Consultancy.uk says that 69 per cent of employers significantly increased their spending on employee benefits in response to the pandemic. However, a quarter of workers still felt there weren’t enough options available and 22 per cent said the benefits available to them didn’t meet their needs.
Fekaiki says, “My story – and Juno’s raison d’etre – will sound all-too-familiar to many. When I started my career as a Growth Manager for startups, long hours and ‘hustle culture’ left me feeling burnt out. The loss of a family member finally broke me, and the thing I needed the most at that time was genuine well-being support in place of the alcohol-fuelled socials and awkward team yoga I was offered by HR. But I should have known not to expect too much from superficial ‘perks’ systems that fail to consider peoples’ actual needs.”
Juno: What you need to know
Founded by British-Iraqi entrepreneur Ally Fekaiki in 2019, Juno aims to transform outdated work perks schemes by empowering employees to choose benefits that work for them.
The company’s personalised approach gives employees the freedom to pick perks that reflect their lifestyle, needs, and priorities.
Fekaiki says, “If the purpose of employee benefits is to keep staff happy and healthy, only the individual can know what they really want and need. So, in the same way that you wouldn’t trust your boss to organise your birthday party, why would you trust them to choose your workplace benefits? Having quit my startup job, this sentiment grew from a seed in my mind into Juno and still drives the company to this day.”
The platform offers several experiences, from mental health support and childcare services to fitness classes and food delivery boxes, to choose from.
Juno has collaborated with popular providers, including Barry’s Bootcamp, Headspace, Patch Plants, and Mindful Chef, with over 5000 activities and services being exchanged for credits on the platform every month.
The platform is already in use by over 160 companies across 40 countries, including Bolt, Oyster, Born Social, and Paddle.
The company has seen consistent growth since January, 2021, and its user base grew tenfold last year as demand accelerated during the pandemic.
Based out of London, Hoxton Ventures focuses on startups that either disrupt existing industries or invent entirely new market categories. The VC typically invests between $500K and $5M into pre-seed, seed, and Series A stage companies, and follows its capital through the life of the company
Charles Seely, partner at Hoxton Ventures, says, “We’re excited to back Ally and the Juno team. We believe that the future of work is a giant category within which transformative businesses will be built.”
Adam Ludwin, the co-founder of Captify, says “Many companies are trying but failing to understand, comprehend and support their employees. Juno’s offering helps solve this by getting rid of the current one-size-fits-all approach and replacing it with benefits that allow companies to support everyone uniquely. It gives them access to the world’s largest online well-being marketplace and empowers employees to access well-being solutions that fit their unique personalities and lifestyle. It is an incredibly exciting time for Juno, and I’m proud to be part of the journey.”