By Fringe CEO Jordan Peace
When a group of buddies (myself included) started Fringe, we knew we were onto something big — but we never could have predicted the role we’d play in paving the way for an entirely new class of benefits and perks that would become indispensable during a global crisis.
Today, after what’s been a transformative year in employee benefits, I am excited to announce that we’ve raised $4M in capital, led by Sovereign’s Capital, with participation from Felton Group, Manchester Story, the Center for Innovative Technology, and angel investors. As part of this investment, we’re also announcing the addition of William Boland, Senior Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at Mission Lane, to our Board of Directors. Will is a senior business leader with a proven track record for leading high growth organizations, including CarLotz, the recently-public auto retailer he founded in 2011 and guided to over $100 million in annual revenue. We’re extremely grateful to have Will’s business and operational expertise as we enter this exciting new chapter in the Fringe story.
Today’s milestone caps a monumental year of growth for our company. The WFH challenges of the past 12 months have forced employers to rethink their benefits playbooks, putting aside tried-and-true benefits strategies for flexible offerings that meet the needs of today’s employees (many of whom are experiencing burnout, stress and anxiety). Customers are constantly telling us how much their people appreciate the simplicity and flexibility of the Fringe platform, and the ability to pick-and-choose benefits that bring immediate value to their daily lives — from convenient meal services, to mental health offerings, and other delightful deliveries.
Turo, the San Francisco-based car sharing marketplace, turned to us early in the pandemic seeking out flexible and customizable benefits to better support their newly-WFH employee base. Incredibly, Turo has seen a 96% engagement rate on the platform (compared to the 50% engagement rate that companies typically aim to hit with traditional benefits). Turo’s success is a testament to the value that lifestyle benefits and perks bring to the new workplace.
It’s been an important year of transformation for the employee benefits landscape in general, and Fringe has undoubtedly benefited from this shift. In the past year, we have:
Grown our customer base by over 450% and our user base by over 5000%
Scaled our platform to serve employee populations in 35 countries around the world
Offered over 150 (and counting) vendors on the Fringe platform that suit a variety of needs — from food services like DoorDash and Uber Eats, to family offerings like UrbanSitter and KiwiCo, and everything in between
Built our team to meet new demand, increasing headcount over 300%
More good news? We’re only just getting started. Looking ahead, this new investment will allow us to continue improving our product for our customers — we’ll be introducing new features, more fantastic vendors and even more ways to leverage Fringe points (expanding on gifting options and more). We’ll also continue growing our team and scaling sales, operations and customer service functions to support continued growth into new markets around the world (if you’re looking for work with a purpose, check out our careers page!).
Among the many silver linings of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the positive influence it’s had on the workplace. It accelerated an inevitable industry transformation, one in which flexible lifestyle benefits are no longer a “nice to have” supplement but an essential ingredient to employee happiness and overall wellness. We’re so proud to have played a role in this important evolution for the industry, and rest assured, we’ll be there to keep your people happy for years to come.