Minu, a Mexico-based employee wellness company, grabbed $30 million in new funding as it continues building out its gamified and rewards features, including saving or completing financial education courses, while improving retention for employers.
Company co-founder and CEO Nima Pourshasb told TechCrunch that 80% of Mexicans live paycheck to paycheck with no savings, while one-third often need to take out loans to cover basic, recurring expenses.
“The pandemic was a huge part of the more humanistic approach of taking care of employees,” Pourshasb said. “We saw a market move toward employee wellness and using technology to improve quality of life — the financial, physical and mental health of employees.”
He also explained that Mexican regulations helped: The country passed legislation, known as Nom 35, that mandates companies monitor the stress of their employees and have mechanisms in place to help them.
“The main source of stress is often financial, so that has been a very big booster,” Pourshasb added.
The new capital is a combination of $10 million in a bridge round from Coppel Capital, Besant Capital and Enea Capital, as well as existing investors FinTech Collective, QED and Salkantay, and $20 million of debt from Accial Capital. In total, Minu raised $50 million.
Pourshasb declined to disclose Minu’s valuation but did say that with the new funds, the company has a runway of 22 months.
In 2021, my colleague Mary Ann Azevedo profiled Minu when it raised $14 million in Series A funding. Back then, the pay-on demand company, founded by Pourshasb, Rafael Niell and Paolo Rizzi, was working with 100 enterprise clients and had just one product, earned wage access, which offers instant access to employees’ earned wages for a $2 fixed withdrawal fee.
Nearly two years later, Minu has over 300 enterprise customers, like Grupo Modelo, Coppel and Cinemex, and its revenue grew more than five times between 2021 and 2022.
Also new is a SaaS subscription model where half of its revenue is now generated, paid for by employees so that it is free for employees to take advantage of the now over 30 benefits that include health and mental health access via telemedicine, insurance discounts, financial education, bill payment and virtual fitness classes.
In addition, Minu has a new credit union-as-a-service that enables employers to offer savings starting at 8% for fully liquid deposits and cheap agile loans. That compares to the 400% annual percentage rate for a loan at a traditional Mexican bank.
Employees who consume the financial education or fitness and mediation content can get rewards, like increased savings percentages and life insurance dollar amounts.
Meanwhile, the company intends to use the new capital to continue distribution among customers and continued development of its employee wellness platform to include more modules for human resources and chief financial officers. Minu will continue its focus on Mexico, expanding to Monterrey, Guadalajara and the Yucatan.
“Mexico is where we see huge opportunities,” Pourshasb said. “The biggest opportunity for us is to continue expanding geographically within Mexico with companies of all sizes, continuing to take advantage of the huge inertia and positioning that we have in the market.”