Bento, a Nigerian tech platform redefining payroll, human resource management, and employee benefits has announced its launch into three new markets – Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda – as it seeks to grow its reach across the continent.
The company was founded in 2019 and it addresses many of the challenges African businesses face by automating the following:
- Salary payments
- Pensions and other statutory remittances.
Through its cloud-based platform, Bento says it empowers African businesses and gives them the peace of mind by streamlining many of their processes with a single click.
For employees, the platform offers access to third-party services such as credit solutions – which include the ability to pay school fees and rent monthly rather than yearly – unemployment insurance, savings, investments and much more, all at no cost to employers.
Bento says it has obtained full operating licenses in each of the new markets and is building local teams that will adapt its products for local cultural and financial nuances.
In Nigeria, Bento says it stood at the forefront of payroll and human resource management (HRM) serving over 900 active Nigerian businesses across different sectors including healthcare and financial services companies such as Hygeia and Tangerine Africa. The company also serves many Y Combinator backed firms such as Kobo360, Lori Systems and Paystack.
Bento says the payroll and HR Management market in Africa is a huge untapped opportunity with over 400 million people in the labour force. African businesses have remained largely analogue up until now, using spreadsheets and bulk upload on bank portals, bank transfers, cheques, and even cash.
The company says it is bringing African payroll and HRM into the digital age and ensuring that different market participants are communicating and leveraging data to help unlock credit solutions.
Bento believes it will enter the following markets; Egypt, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola and Senegal by the end of 2022.
While offering the above solutions and solving the missing piece of the B2B payroll and HRM puzzle, the company is also enabling access to credit solutions and other third-party products and services to employees.
Around 95% of African consumers have never had access to formal credit and rely on informal lenders and savings schemes. To further illustrate this point, in Africa on average 4.5% of people have access to a credit card compared with 65% in the US.
Bento’s proprietary credit engine, built in partnership with Tarya, Israel’s largest P2P lending firm, ensures the company can offer significantly better rates than traditional retail lenders and disburse within minutes rather than days.
Comments from Bento:
”Seeing so many companies using analogue methods to manage their workforce is simultaneously frustrating and exciting for us. Employers don’t have access to locally customised, world-class payroll and HRM tools, and employees can’t easily access third-party services to help make life easier,” said Ebun Okubanjo, Co-Founder and CEO at Bento. “When you think about it, your salary powers your life, so we’re building the operating system that will have a profound impact on the African continent for generations to come.”
“We’re starting with payroll and HRM, but moving rapidly towards Salary 2.0, where we redefine the intersection of work and life and transform the way people earn, spend and borrow on the continent,” added Chidozie David Okonkwo, Co-Founder and COO at Bento. “Having successfully established product-market fit in Nigeria, one of the most difficult markets to penetrate in Africa, we’re excited to roll out across the continent and solve the real problems we know millions of employers and employees face on a daily basis.”