Bento, Nigeria’s digital payroll and human resource management platform, is expanding to Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda, with plans to open offices in six other African markets over the next year.
Bento’s next phase of growth will include Egypt, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, and Ethiopia by the end of next year.
Bento is entering the African payroll and HR management market, which has traditionally relied on time-consuming analog processes to distribute pay. The startup, founded in 2019, assists businesses in automating the disbursement of salaries and other statutory remittances, such as taxes and pensions.
“Seeing so many companies still using analogue methods to manage their workforce is both frustrating and exciting for us.” Employers do not have access to locally customized, world-class payroll and HRM tools, and employees do not have easy access to third-party services to help make their lives easier.
According to Bento, its platform is leveraging data to provide credit solutions to third parties (employees) as well as other services such as unemployment insurance, savings, and investments.
The startup’s proprietary credit engine, developed in collaboration with Tarya in Israel, ensures the disbursement of instant loans.
Bento currently serves over 900 businesses in Nigeria, including healthcare and financial service providers such as Hygeia and Tangerine Africa, as well as Y Combinator-backed startups Paystack, Kobo360, Branch, and LORI Systems.
“We’re starting with payroll and HRM, but we’re quickly moving toward Salary 2.0, where we redefine the intersection of work and life and transform the way people earn, spend, and borrow on the continent,” said Chidozie David Okonkwo, Bento’s other co-founder and COO.
“Having successfully established product-market fit in Nigeria, one of Africa’s most difficult markets to penetrate,” Okonkwo said, “we’re excited to roll out across the continent and solve the real problems we know millions of employers and employees face on a daily basis.”
Bento’s expansion comes about a month after Workpay, a Nairobi-based payroll and HR management startup, expanded to Nigeria to target small and medium-sized businesses in the region. Workpay, a Y Combinator startup, is one of 50 African businesses that have received equity-free funding and support from Google.
Workpay claims that its platform allows companies to pay in 15 currencies across Africa and legally hire in Africa without the need to establish a local entity. Its platform is currently used by 400 businesses.