Kota seals €5m funding to revamp employee benefits platform


Kota, an integrated platform aiming to streamline insurance and retirement benefits for contemporary teams, has secured €5m.

Spearheading this investment was EQT Ventures, accompanied by the continuous support of existing investors, notably Northzone and Frontline Ventures.

Diving into the functionality of Kota, the platform is primarily focused on revolutionising the traditionally cumbersome and paper-intensive core benefits sector. This transformation is presented in a user-friendly manner, allowing companies, irrespective of their size, to initiate the process in a matter of 8 minutes.

Such convenience has attracted a range of burgeoning companies, including &Open, Spotlight Oral Care, Unmind, and Fonoa. By targeting the substantial $42.1bn employee benefits domain and boasting coverage in more than 30 countries, Kota’s vision is to reshape the industry in Europe initially. Their mission further involves constructing necessary infrastructures and tools that enable companies to efficiently cover their teams, addressing the needs of a generation that often finds itself marginalised by dated infrastructure.

The prevailing climate in the business realm demands companies, especially smaller to mid-tier ones, to deliver more with limited resources. The immense challenge of provisioning optimal employee benefits becomes even more intensified for remote companies, owing to diverse benefit strategies varying from one nation to another. Concurrently, the core benefits industry appears rather opaque and outdated, especially for dispersed smaller businesses, offering a less than ideal experience for their employees.

Addressing this gap, Kota offers unbounded access to essential services like health, life, and retirement provisions on a global scale. This includes features such as real-time enrolment, adjustable contributions, and a dedicated application for employees. They’ve already successfully amalgamated with esteemed insurance and pension providers like Irish Life, Allianz Partners, and Smart Pension, among others. This allows employers to seamlessly set up, control, and synchronise their international benefits. Moreover, Kota is compatible with existing HR platforms like Personio, Humaans, HiBob, Bamboo HR, and Workday.

Behind the scenes, Kota’s operations are driven by a proficient team encompassing FinTech experts and seasoned insurance professionals. Key figures include Luke Mackey, who has previous experience with Bolt; Patrick O’Boyle, former CTO at Bamboo; and Deepak Baliga from Flipdish.

Additionally, Kota is excited to unveil its integrated health insurance product. This innovative service empowers platforms and developers to incorporate financial benefits directly into their own systems, further enhancing accessibility.

Kota CEO Luke Mackey commented, “Employee health and retirement benefits are the Achilles heel of HR and finance teams. They are managed through spreadsheets, portals and email – completely fragmented, offline and lacking interoperability. This is little surprise given, unlike other areas of HR and Finance where modern tools have revolutionised workflows, this industry is still dominated by old-school brokerages with an admin-heavy model.

“Kota is first to market with a platform that is automating workflows through data synchronisation and reconciliation, integrating with top-tier health, life and pension providers, and ultimately, delivering employees access to the benefits that they deserve.”

EQT Ventures’ Principal Naza Metghalchi remarked, “Previous attempts at bringing the employee benefits market to the 21st century have all fallen short, and there’s a tendency in this industry to follow a ‘tech-enabled’ rather than a ‘tech-first’ approach. The complexity of the financial benefits ecosystem has been amplified with the tailwinds of remote work. The entire industry has been missing a data synchronisation and reconciliation piece–until Kota.

“With connections to both local and global providers, they’ve made enrolling, scaling and managing team benefits anywhere in the world as effortless as ordering dinner online, initially focusing on Europe. Kota is creating a new category by providing the critical infrastructure for the distribution of financial products, at a time when employees rely on their workplace to access these products. We’ve been impressed with Luke, Patrick and Deepak’s ability to ship fast, and are excited for them to execute their long term vision.”

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