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SoftBank leads $200M Series D for employee benefit startup Swile

Swile, a Paris-based startup offering employ benefit tools through a mobile application and smart card, announced raising a $200 million Series D led by SoftBank International Group, according to Reuters.

The company says it will use the funding, which places SoftBank’s President Michael Combes on Swile’s board, to expand internationally and develop additional services beyond corporate benefits.

The Series D brings Swile’s total funding amount to $326 million through four rounds, and grants the company unicorn status after breaking a $1 billion valuation. Swile previously raised a $17.4 million Series A in 2018, a $34.7 million Series B in 2019, and a $81 million Series C in 2020.

Swile’s employee benefit services, which it provides through a mobile app, started off providing meal vouchers and has since expanded to offer gift cards-capabilities, a personal debit card and spend management tools.

The company’s product has been successful, capturing 13% of France’s market share on meal vouchers in France, while competing with companies including Edenred, UpDéjeuner, Sodexo’s Pass Restaurant and Apetiz, according to TechCrunch.

While Swile is still working to garner adoption and market share in its home of France, this funding round is shifting more of its focus towards growth and development. The company is working to introduce ride-sharing, public transport subscriptions and other ‘transpotech’ in an ongoing push to become a “Super App.”

This transportation effort is important given France’s new initiative to make companies contribute to sustainable mobility spending, starting on January 1st. In addition to that push, the company has acquired corporate performance platform Briq to introduce financial technologies into the card at some point.

“Our bet with Swile — as we disclosed it 18 months ago — is that we want to go beyond lunch and manage employee benefits with the Swile card. It should help you manage all your employee benefits,” Swile founder and CEO Loïc Soubeyrand told TechCrunch.

The company wants to double its size by 2022, with plans to hire 500 new employees. This will feed into Swile’s international expansion efforts, with it looking at Brazil and Mexico as promising markets.

In other recent fintech news, NerdWallet dropped its S-1, rumored to be valued at $5 billion. JPMorgan and UniCredit also partnered to enable near real-time US and European payments.

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