Swile raises $200 million and reaches unicorn status
Commenting on the news, Martin Mignot, who led the investment for Index, said: "As remote work grows, so too does the need for new kinds of company cohesion and team-building. There’s never been a better time for Swile in its journey to becoming the go-to tool for changing people’s relationship to work and their colleagues."
French scaleup Swile, founded in 2018 by Loïc Soubeyrand, announced today its fourth round of funding (series D) in 4 years for $200 million. The worktech is gaining traction not only by becoming the 2nd* fastest French tech company to reach this status, but also surfacing as one of the only French unicorns rooted outside the capital city of Paris.
This series was led by Softbank, the world's largest Tech fund (Uber, WeWork, Revolut, Slack etc.) and Michel Combes, chairman of Softbank International Group and former chairman of Alcatel-Lucent and SFR-Numericable, joins Swile’s board of directors.
Previous Swile investors Eurazeo, Index Ventures, Bpifrance Large Venture, as well as newcomer Headline, also participated.
This ambitious fundraising aims to focus on Swile's technological advancement and further international expansion.
Swile to become the global leader in employee experience.
In just 4 years, Swile managed to conquer 13% of the French corporate benefits market. After having first integrated its services with well established tech companies such as Doctolib, Spotify, and Airbnb, Swile now provides benefits to companies of all sectors and sizes, ranging from small businesses to the largest private company in France, Carrefour.
Swile is now looking to expand its scope beyond corporate benefits by continuing to launch new digital solutions with 2 main products:
- Swile Card: the all-in-one payment solution
Swile Card is a smartcard that manages all corporate benefits (meal vouchers, gift vouchers, mobility, etc.). Other benefits will be added in the coming months (holiday vouchers, salary advances, etc.), with the goal to make Swile Card the go-to card for employees to manage all corporate expenses (benefits, business expenses and payments between colleagues).
- Swile App: the employee super-app
After being in beta for the last 12 months, Swile will soon officially launch Swile App, a super-app dedicated to the employee experience. Swile App features focus on team building and cohesion with internal communication, recognition and praises between colleagues. There are also measuring tools and insights for companies, such as anonymous surveys and feedback.
These are all decision-making tools that will be supplemented in the months to come by indicators monitoring the social performance of organizations, an increasingly important element in the ESG rating of companies
Latin America, Swile's top market by 2024.
In early 2021, Swile acquired the startup Vee Beneficios for its launch in Brazil, the world's largest market for employee benefits.
There are now 120 Swile employees operating in Sao Paulo.
With nearly 50 million employees eligible for benefits and a digitization rate nearing 100%, Brazil represents an exponential growth opportunity for Swile.
For its Series D round, Swile was looking for a global investment fund with a deep understanding of Latin America, and specifically the employee benefits market. Softbank was at the top of the list.
"Swile's long-term vision to improve how people experience work are well aligned with SoftBank's vision of digital transformation. We are impressed by the company's innovative product. Swile has demonstrated its success in France serving some of the nation’s largest employees, and we believe the company is in the early innings of replicating that in Brazil and Latin America", said Michel Combes, President of SoftBank Group International (SBGI).
1 000 employees by the end of 2022.
To reach this goal, Swile will continue to seek out top talent and recruit 500 employees by the end of 2022 in Brazil and France, doubling the size of the company.
Loïc Soubeyrand, CEO of Swile, said: "With this $200 million round of funding, we have acquired additional resources and a first-class partner to continue to disrupt established models and bring our ambitious mission to life: creating a fulfilling world of work.”
These recruitments will help maintain Swile’s organization, which has a workforce distributed throughout France - 25% in Paris, 25% in Montpellier, 25% remote, and the another 25% in Brazil. Swile's local roots in the southern French region of Occitania have already created 150 jobs and contribute to both attractiveness and development in the area.
"The fact that Swile has become our 19th unicorn is a shining symbol as to how far French Tech has come. In just a few years, startups have been engines for growth and job creation across the country, like Swile in Montpellier. In 2017, the French Tech ecosystem had just 3 unicorns. Now it has 19, and is expected to exceed €10 billion in funds raised in 2021. These exceptional results are in large part due to the creativity of our entrepreneurs and also the constant support from the Government towards these strategic technological advances and the French economy. The success of Loïc Soubeyrand and his team, in the space of a few years and in a sector that was essentially closed to new players, embodies the spirit of innovation and boldness that are at the heart of entrepreneurship," said Cédric O, Secratary of State for the Digital Sector.
Swile in a nutshell:
- Swile is a worktech company launched in 2018 by Loïc Soubeyrand (co-founder and ex-CEO of Teads, sold to Altice in 2017).
- The company raised €15 million (seed/series A) in 2018, €30 million (series B) in 2019, €70 million (series C) in 2020 and €175 million (series D) in 2021.
- Swile offers an all-in-one card that brings together employee benefits (meal vouchers, gift vouchers, mobility benefits, etc.) and an app dedicated to employee engagement.
- The company operates in two countries (France and Brazil) and has 500 employees, 500,000 users and 15,000 corporate clients (including Carrefour, Le Monde, PSG, Airbnb, Spotify, Red Bull and TikTok).
Published — Oct. 11, 2021