What employee doesn’t appreciate company perks? And sometimes, those little things can make a big difference.
Perqy is a turnkey marketplace that allows employers to give discounts to their employees for free, right out of the box. If employers want to give an extra discount on certain deals, Done! Seamlessly, without the hassle of negotiating with multiple vendors.
CEO and cofounder David Idell explains how Perqy easily enables employers to offer awesome discounts to their employees.
Tell us about the service.
Perqy allows employers to give better perks at any budget. We partner with local merchants (restaurants, fitness studios, events, etc.) to build a marketplace of employee discounts. We’re mainly solving the issue of corporate accounts for businesses and the pain points behind maintaining internal benefits websites.
Our cofounder, Zoltan, has years of experience working first-hand with corporate wellness programs, and one of his biggest pain points was finding the right person at a large company and trying to negotiate with them to set up a corporate discount. The process was very long and drawn out, and Perqy seeks to cut through this process by creating a competitive marketplace where a merchant can upload a deal and get those corporate accounts without the hassle.
On the employer side, many large companies have old, outdated, hard-to-maintain websites for employee perks. These sites are usually money hogs and are not by any means an efficient way of rewarding employees. We provide a seamless solution for replacing that. Last but not least, the employees themselves reap the benefits of a modern, dynamic marketplace for local discounts.
How is it different?
Our competitors operate on the opposite business model. Perqy is based on a freemium model. Employers can register their employees for free, and their employees will gain immediate access to all deals in the marketplace. If an employer chooses to do so, they can sponsor a deal to give their employees an even bigger discount. For example, if a cafe is originally offering a 25% off deal in our marketplace, an employer can boost that discount up to 75% off for their employees by sponsoring the deal an extra 40%. In addition, we have an employee voting system in place where employees can “like” deals to indicate to their employer that they want that perk sponsored. Our system allows merchants and employers to provide employee discounts with only a couple clicks. We empower employers and employees to choose their own perks.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
For employers, small to medium sized businesses are our main customer base, especially startups. We target these companies, because they typically don’t have the time and resources to commit to negotiating corporate accounts, but recognize the need for happy and engaged employees. There are 6,337 startups listed on digital.nyc, and there are thousands more SMBs in New York City alone.
For merchants, we are targeting establishments nearby our registered employers. We are partnering with restaurants, bars, fitness studios, spas, services, and event promoters. NYC has more than 190k small employers.
What inspired you to start the company?
Here is our story: After weeks of searching for a gym near work, Nisha decided on a membership at the gym her friend, Zoltan, worked at. Before signing up, Zoltan asked if her company would like to open a corporate account, which would have given Nisha a discounted membership rate.
Nisha approached her HR department, but they said no. It would be too much hassle to contact Zoltan to negotiate rates, and they didn’t even know if anyone else in the office would be interested. Nisha tried finding a platform that would let her employer offer a gym discount without so much effort, but there were none available.
Soon thereafter, Nisha and Zoltan teamed up with their friends Adam and Dave, who also loved the idea of a simple platform to connect local businesses. With our combined experience with corporate wellness accounts, web development, mobile development, design, and marketing, we thought we had the perfect team in place to make it happen. The result was Perqy.
What is the business model?
Perqy offers a freemium-based business model to employers. Employers can register for free, and their employees will gain immediate access to all the deal in our marketplace. Merchants do not pay up front to upload deals. We make money by charging a 15% fee for each employee transaction made for their deal. In other words, the 15% is taken out of the revenue that is paid out to the merchant. We think this provides all parties involved with a win-win-win situation and help align our business goals with those of our partners. We believe this is a very simple and straightforward way to maintain the business, as it scales seamlessly.
Hasn’t this been tried before?
Our biggest competitors in the employee discount space are AnyPerk, NextJump, and PerksLocal. They have the opposite business model as us. They charge employers a flat fee, per employee, per month. The issue with this is that it forces employers to essentially pay for all perks offered on the platform, even if they’re not relevant to their employees. We offer a more freemium based model, where it’s free for employees and employers to register, and then we give the option for employers to sponsor their choice of deals for their employers.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We are currently focused on the Lower Manhattan area. We plan to stay hyper-local in order to give employees perks that are close by and most relevant to them. We are on track to have 30 rotating active deals and 1000 employees signed on within 6 months.
If you could be put in touch with one investor, who would it be and why?
Maia Josebachvili. With her experience doing business development in the HR-tech field at Greenhouse Software, we could learn a great deal about how to bring Perqy to the forefront of the HR-tech industry. Maia also has amazing experience as a successful founder/entrepreneur and working with discount site LivingSocial. We believe connecting with Maia would give us some great insights on forming strategic partnerships with local merchants and how we can scale our business.
Why did you launch in New York?
We believe that NYC is the best place to launch because of how many local businesses there are. There are so many small businesses that could benefit from a service like Perqy, especially since employees are walking by their storefronts on a regular basis. We see Perqy as a platform to connect local merchants and local employers together easily, since both provide great value to each other.
We also decided to launch in NYC because of the amazing startup scene here. There are also tons of startup resources, meetups, hackathons, conferences, and talent in NYC and we are constantly inspired by the thriving tech ecosystem here. We also would like to focus on partnering with startups as employers and merchants, and see great opportunity for doing so within the NYC tech community.
What’s your favorite perk in NYC?
Our favorite perk (and one of the first merchants in our Marketplace) in NYC is FlowCycle in Financial District. Co-founders Nisha and Dave have attended classes together and each time we came out absolutely drenched in sweat! They are the only studio in Manhattan equipping with Real Ryder bikes. The bikes lean and tilt from side to side, mimicking the outdoor biking experience. We definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a whole body workout. We especially appreciated the power bars and cold towels available to us after the workout.