Bento, Nigeria’s digital payroll and human resource management platform, is expanding to Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda, with plans to set up operations in six other markets in Africa over the next year.
In its next phase of expansion, Bento is eyeing Egypt, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola and Ethiopia by the end of next year.
Bento is tapping the payroll and HR management market in Africa that has traditionally relied on laborious analog processes to disburse pay. The startup, founded in 2019, is helping businesses to automate the disbursement of salaries and other statutory remittances, including taxes and pension.
“Seeing so many companies using analogue methods to manage their workforce is both frustrating and exciting for us. Employers don’t have access to locally customized, world-class payroll and HRM tools, and employees can’t easily access third-party services to help make life easier. When you think about it, your salary powers your life, so we’re building the operating system that will have a profound impact on the African continent for generations to come,” said Bento co-founder and CEO, Ebun Okubanjo.
Bento said that its platform is leveraging data to extend credit solutions to third parties (employees) and other services like unemployment insurance, savings and investments.
The startup's proprietary credit engine, built in partnership with Israel’s Tarya, ensures the disbursement of instant loans.
In Nigeria, Bento currently serves more than 900 businesses, including healthcare and financial service companies such as Hygeia and Tangerine Africa, and Y Combinator-backed startups Paystack, Kobo360, Branch and LORI Systems.
“We’re starting with payroll and HRM, but moving rapidly towards 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 Bento’s other co-founder and COO, Chidozie David Okonkwo.
“Having successfully established product-market fit in Nigeria, one of the most difficult markets to penetrate in Africa, 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,” said Okonkwo.
Bento’s expansion comes about a month after Workpay, a Nairobi-based payroll and HR management startup, expanded to Nigeria to tap small medium sized businesses in the West African region. Workpay, a Y Combinator startup, is among the 50 enterprises in Africa that received equity-free funding and support from Google. Workpay said its platform makes it possible for companies to pay in 15 currencies across Africa and to hire in Africa legally without the need to set up a local entity. Its platform currently supports 400 businesses.