Our investment in Benny
We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund III has completed an investment in Benny. Benny is a lending platform that helps employees participate in their company’s equity, stock, and benefits programs.
Background: Today, six in 10 Americans do not have even $1,000 in emergency savings, and many of the financial tools and benefits that help people to build wealth are not inclusive, creating a gap in wealth generation.
One way to build wealth is through company programs offering equity, stock, and other benefits, but unfortunately many employees are both unaware of the upside as well as unable to participate due to financial constraints. Additionally, companies falter on the delivery of their Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs), leaving employees wondering what it is, how it works, and why they should participate. Even once they understand these programs, participation relies on payroll deductions, leaving employees facing trade-offs between living expenses and buying stock.
Just one in three employees participate in their ESPPs, leaving thousands of dollars on the table each year.
Company Specifics: Benny is a lending platform that provides education and innovative solutions to democratize participation in ESPPs, allowing employees to take advantage of their company’s programs and build wealth.
Their proprietary database of ESPP information allows Benny to issue credit broadly and use predictive cash-flow analysis to achieve high collection rates. Through their easy-to-use product and technology, they deliver a user-centric lending experience with short application and processing times. In the end, they provide their customers with a product that earns them money, all at a fixed rate with no additional fees.
In addition to partnering with employees, Benny also works directly with companies to provide education on their ESPP programs and encourage employee participation. At a time when employers are looking for ways to improve employee retention and play a larger role in their employee’s financial well-being, companies that can offer such a program can quickly advance both goals.
Benny's founder Andy Kalmon knows first-hand the pain points employees face when attempting to participate in an ESPP. A former non-participant, he experienced the education barriers and burdensome payroll deductions, and, through conversations, learned that many of his fellow employees felt the same. He has bootstrapped Benny to a profitable operation in five states, and is currently participating in the TechStars Boulder accelerator program.
Learn more at:http://heybenny.com