London-based Juno picks up €3.7 million to transform and personalise work perk schemes

In the increasingly competitive job market, employee benefits are now seen as a standard part of employee/employer relations. On a mission to personalise the process for employees, Juno has just picked up €3.7 million. 

The round was led by Hoxton Ventures and joined by angels including Juno early adopters Tony Jamous, CEO of OysterHR and Christian Owens, CEO of Paddle. Other angel investors include the CEOs of Learnerbly, Captify, Jungle Creations, SuperAwesome and Heights.

Founded in 2019 by British-Iraqi entrepreneur Ally Fekaiki, Juno’s platform empowers employees to take charge of their own benefits. Employers can allocate staff points which employees can then spend on the experiences and services they actually want. 

It’s reported that up to 69% of employers significantly increased their spending on employee benefits since the pandemic. However, in doing so, didn’t change or re-address the work perk system. According to Juno, this now means that a quarter of workers still feel their benefits don’t match what they actually want and 22% believe benefits don’t meet their needs. It’s clear there’s a disconnect between how employers are offering benefits and want employees are actually looking for. 

The London-based startup is reimagining the benefits system. 

Ally Fekaiki, Founder and CEO of Juno, explained: “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 wellbeing 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.”

As part of the mission to end top-down decision marking and democratise the process, Juno gives employees the freedom to pick perks that reflect their lifestyle, needs and priorities. There are hundreds of experiences to choose from on the platform – from mental health support and childcare services to fitness classes and food delivery boxes. Popular providers include Barry’s Bootcamp, Headspace, Patch Plants and Mindful Chef, with over 5000 activities and services being exchanged for credits on the platform every month. 

Fekaiki continued: “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 is already being used by over 160 companies across 40 countries, including Bolt, Oyster, Born Social and Paddle. The company has seen consistent growth since January 2021, but its user base grew tenfold last year as demand for effective ways to support hybrid teams, retain staff and improve work-life balance accelerated during the pandemic.

This new injection of capital will enable Juno to fine-tune the product and add additional services such as physical debit cards for purchasing benefits and a fully integrated marketplace. It will also be used to drive continued growth across global markets including the US and Europe, enabling even more workers to choose benefits that go further and add genuine value to their lives – whatever that means for them.

The CEO added: “This new injection of funding will enable us to bring better benefits and support to more workers around the world. 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.”

Adam Ludwin, the co-founder of Captify, said: “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 wellbeing solutions that fit their unique personality and lifestyle. It is an incredibly exciting time for Juno and I’m proud to be part of the journey.”