Remote-first platform Plerk raises $1M for flexible employee perks worldwide

LatamList – After launching in January 2021, Plerk is announcing today that it has raised $1M in Pre-Seed funding from Y Combinator, Magma Partners, 500 Startups, Peak Capital, Horseplay.ventures, and MGV Capital Group, along with participation from Podium co-founders Eric Rea and Dennis Steele, Rappi’s Andres Bilbao, and Truora’s Daniel Bilbao. In fact, this marks Peak Capital’s first investment outside of the US and Horseplay Ventures’ first investment in Latin America. 

When the pandemic hit the world by storm last year, the founders of Isibit, an all-in-one platform for business travel, faced unfortunate timing for their business model. Although sales had started to pick up by the end of 2020 and they had been accepted into the YC Summer 2020 batch, they understood that the world was becoming remote-first and decided to pivot. 

Staying true to their original mission to help improve the quality of life of employees, they launched Plerk, a virtual card for companies to provide their employees with perks and benefits worldwide.

The startup– founded by Antonio Martínez ex-Banregio Labs, and ex-Rappi employees Miguel Medina and Angel Arias– aims to create a platform where fintech meets human resources. The idea for Plerk originated as a virtual card to pay for flexible benefits and services. Companies can deposit a certain amount of funds for their employees who can then choose from over 5,000,000 vendors around the world to spend the money on.

“About 80% of companies in Latin America continue to work remotely or have part of their team doing so. So, decentralizing the benefits that used to take place in offices under the same roof and enabling employees to access them in the palms of their hands with a virtual card is what allows us to grow. We understand that the future of work is remote as companies have been hiring for the past 14 months based on talent and not geography,” commented Miguel.

While most of their revenue comes from Colombia and Chile, the platform is present in 8 different countries, including the US. In compliance with the Federal Labor Law reform in Mexico, which states that companies must pay for Internet, electricity, and any other remote work tool, Plerk is the first platform in the country that allows this transaction to be made in two payments: one part can be paid with Plerk’s card and the other, with the employee’s personal card.

“Plerk goes beyond being your usual perks and benefits platform. With the new reality of remote work, being able to provide a work-life balance to distributed teams is vital to their success. We’re excited to help Plerk grow in Latin America to help transform the modern workplace,” said Nathan Lustig, Managing Partner at Magma Partners.

With the new funding, Plerk plans to expand its team of 20 people by hiring first in Chile and Colombia, focusing on recruiting the most talented women in the region. On a mission to integrate more employee benefits in one single card, the team also plans to continue to grow its product offering to international financial services.

Interested in forming part of the Plerk team? Apply here.

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