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NiYO raises Series A funding of $13.2mn from Social Capital, JS Capital LLc and others

NiYO Solutions Inc., an employee benefit, and payroll management startup has raised Series A funding of $13.2 million (Rs 85 crore) from Social Capital, JS Capital LLc (the family office of Jonathan Soros), and Horizons Ventures with participation by existing investor, Prime Venture Partners.

With this fresh funding, the company plans to strengthen and expand its product to tier 2 and 3 towns. It will also use the funding for further product development, team expansion and increasing presence in tier 1 cities, the company said in a statement.

NiYO has two offerings-one focuses on employees, and other on corporate. The startup provides companies a portal for salary disbursal, and payroll management. In its payroll offering, NiYO allows companies to credit salaries to bank account managed by NiYO, and provides card to employees to transact, and use it at ATM/POS/Online. The employees can use the same card for meals in canteen, gift card, reimbursements, travel card etc. Employees can also track transactions and do basic banking functions like fund transfer etc on NiYO’s mobile app. With eKYC and self-onboarding enabled on the NiYO app, users can access their account details and keep a tab on their expenditures and allowances digitally.

For employee benefits, the mobile app also has a capability to attach bill proof and also allow digital storage of bill and receipts on the cloud. “While it helps the organizations to digitize the benefits and payroll process and be more compliant and transparent, it also provides employees an experience of a single card for all requirements” explains company. The solution does not require either the corporate or the employee to change bank accounts. The startup currently has partnerships with YES Bank and DCB Bank.

Launched in July 2016 in Bangalore, NiYO said in a statement that it has worked with 500 corporates and is being used by over 100,000 salaried employees in these organisations. The startup now aims to serve 5000 organizations and over 1 million salaried employees by the end of 2018.

Other players in this space

NiYO largely face competition with companies like Sodexo and Zeta amongst others.

Sodexo has been increasing its partnerships in recent times as it is moving away from paper vouchers and is increasing its acceptance of its Meal Card. Sodexo claims to have 11,000 clients and more than 3 million daily consumers across 1,500 cities in India.

Zeta: Another digital employee benefits solutions provider Zeta partnered Kotak Mahindra Bank last year in October to launch a multi-wallet digital prepaid solutions platform called Paymint, and allow companies to manage salary accounts, multiple reimbursements and allowances such as meal vouchers, medical reimbursements, leave travel allowances, gift cards, conveyance, fuel allowances, and driver salaries among others.

Moreover,  Zeta and Sodexo partnered to start offering companies solutions to manage medical, fuel, leave and travel allowances for employees.

Also, Paytm is also looking at entering the employee benefits space. In April 2017, Paytm said that it will be launching a Food Wallet where companies will be allowed to load food allowance to employees under the government’s approved tax redemption bracket. The Food Wallet will be available in the Paytm app as a separate section in the pass book which will have the details of the allowance.

RBI Regulations

The employee benefits space is seeing a lot of action after RBI said that it will not allow prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) in the form of paper vouchers, and that existing paper vouchers (such as those offered by Sodexo and Ticket Restaurant) shall not be valid beyond December 31, 2017.

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