Yonder: An employee benefits platform for the modern workplace

24 Apr 2023

From left: Patrick O’Boyle, Luke Mackey and Deepak Baliga. Image: Yonder

Co-founder Luke Mackey hopes Yonder can help start-ups and scale-ups manage team health insurance and pensions by automating benefits.

As the nature of work continues to be shaped by advances in technology, many aspects of the modern workplace, including communication tools and HR platforms, have been upgraded to be more efficient and seamless. But according to serial entrepreneur Luke Mackey, any advances in the legacy area of employee benefits leaves much to be desired.

Mackey, who previously founded food ordering app Bamboo, felt this problem first-hand while pursuing his passion for building products and scaling businesses in Ireland. Together with Patrick O’Boyle and Deepak Baliga, also repeat founders, Mackey set out to solve this problem and established Yonder last year.

“We’re in an incredibly old-school industry dominated by big and small brokerages – they control about 80pc of the market for corporate benefits,” Mackey told SiliconRepublic.com.

“They tend to be admin-heavy, not cheap and usually not international. For smaller, more agile businesses and now more distributed companies, this is unaligned with how they’re used to working.”

‘Completely removing admin’

Based in Dublin, Yonder is an employee health insurance and retirement benefits platform. The idea is to help start-ups and scale-ups save time and money by automating the busy work associated with finding and managing team-wide benefits.

Mackey said companies can get started in under 8 minutes with access to leading health insurance and retirement plans in more than 30 European countries. Yonder aims to integrate with existing tools, benchmark against local standards and “completely remove admin”.

Employees of companies using Yonder also get access to a mobile app that gives them control over their benefits and helps them plan their financial future.

“It’s an industry that has very little tech and fewer tech companies trying to solve the underlying infrastructure,” Mackey explained. Yonder hopes to solve this on two fronts: improve the user experience while also working on the underlying infrastructure used by insurance companies to enable online distribution.

This feat requires the backing of strong technical minds, and that’s where co-founders Boyle and Baliga come into action. Boyle is Yonder’s chief technology officer while Baliga is its director of engineering.

Both are former employees at Mackey’s Bamboo and repeat founders with experience in scaling businesses. Boyle previously co-founded identification software platform iDly Systems while Baliga has worked with Irish unicorn Flipdish.

Mackey himself worked with European mobility scale-up Bolt as country manager for Ireland before starting Yonder to help it launch in the Irish market.

Growth and plans

Yonder has seen some impressive progress since its foundation last year. The company raised a €2.6m funding round, led by Northzone and Frontline Ventures, in September 2022 to streamline the provision of benefits for an “underserved generation” of workers.

“We’ve been in Beta since the end of last year, we’re learning a lot seeing impressive growth,” Mackey said.

But this is only the beginning for Yonder and Mackey has high hopes for the fast-growing company.

“You’re never going to be happy as a founder. Personally, I tend to be hyper-critical more generally, though to put things into perspective a year ago, we had no team, product or customers,” he said.

“Now we’re 12 people and counting in five countries. Our product is available and used by companies all over Europe. We’re never happy and not close to where we feel we need to be – our standard is high.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic