Our investment in Cobee

Investment thesis

  • The workforce is increasingly mobile: the average millennial changes job every three to four years.
  • The employee benefits market has grown correspondingly, as employers are pushed to offer additional benefits to the ones mandated by law (such as pensions) in order to attract and retain the top talent.
  • This creates bottlenecks in HR departments. Currently, teams have to onboard and manage benefit providers, and handle employee eligibility and usage, manually.
  • In 2021 businesses spent $1.2 billion on employee benefit management, in addition to $52 billion on corporate wellness, putting the market opportunity in excess of $53 billion.
  • Cobee accesses allows employers to centralise and manage benefits schemes, and facilitates the distribution of benefits to employees through a Cobee digital wallet and card.
  • The platform presents an opportunity to transform employee benefits into a distribution channel for other financial and lifestyle products. Cobee also stands to capitalise on consumer data which, until now, has been siloed at the employer level.

Who are the pioneers?

Cobee founders

Co-founders Borja Aranguren and Ignacio Travesi bring years of collective experience in scaling businesses to bear on Cobee. A former consultant at McKinsey & Company, Cobee CEO Borja worked as Head of Sales and Head of Strategy at Ontruck, where he scaled the company across Europe, and oversaw the growth of the team from 20 to 200 people.

Ignacio, Cobee’s Chief Sales Officer, was country manager at beWanted, Europe and Latin America’s biggest employment platform for young people, before leading the sales team at Gympass, in Spain, where he scaled the business from €10,000 to over €11 million.

Why us?

At Octopus Ventures we recognise the impact employee benefit packages stand to have on the lives of individuals around the world. Shifting working habits, and a more migratory workforce, mean these packages don’t exclusively benefit employees – they can also help employers set themselves apart, giving them an edge in a competitive talent market.

We understand talent – next to investing, it’s our speciality. We think people lie at the heart of world-changing businesses, which is why we have a dedicated People and Talent team in place to support our portfolio companies. This doesn’t just give us an insight into the potential value-add of a great employee benefits package – it also gives us first-hand experience of the challenge employers can have managing these packages, and a clear sense of just what a value-add Cobee’s proposition represents.

We can’t wait to introduce our portfolio companies to Cobee’s revolutionary new platform. And as the company grows, we hope we can help in other ways, putting our expertise in the B2B software space to work offering advice on strategy and lending the support of our aforementioned People and Talent team as Cobee looks to secure the top talent they need to scale internationally.

Employee benefits are a boon to all stakeholders – and Cobee is in a great position to unlock the market’s potential. A huge congratulations to Borja, Ignacio and the team.

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