Nov 18, 2016
Apr 28, 2017
Why did Benivo (formerly FlatClub) choose Armenia over Ukraine, Israel or China?
Benivo (formerly FlatClub) is helping leading employers provide relocation support on a budget, making every employee welcome. Benivo is working with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Vodafone, and Hertz to improve the engagement and retention of new hires, and to reduce recruitment costs and dropout rates – securing their position as an employer of choice.
Benivo was founded in the UK in 2011, and had changed considerably by 2015 to the point that expansion was necessary and the company took a strategic decision to build its core in-house development team in Armenia. While this decision might have surprised those who were not familiar with Armenia’s growing tech scene, this move was incredibly significant in the company’s business journey and today is one of the reasons Benivo has over 50 corporate clients and has raised $14MM from top investors.
It’s all about the talent
Selecting the location for Benivo’s R&D centre was a purely strategic decision that required in-depth market research, location specific company interviews, as well as between 20 and 30 meetings with potential candidates in each country. Despite already possessing an existing R&D centre in China and investigating the tech markets in Israel and Ukraine, Benivo decided to choose Armenia.
The quality of the candidates in Armenia was outstanding, as was the availability of talent and their business-oriented approach to innovative technology. The culture similarity and the strong Soviet education resulted with exceptional talent in math, physics, and engineering.
Nitzan Yudan, Founder & CEO, Benivo
Start small and scale up
While the selection process positioned Armenia as the preferred location, as a non-Armenian company, Benivo wanted to be more confident before taking such an important decision.
Benivo started their work with Armenia on a temporary basis – hiring just a single software developer – for the alpha trial and the results were shocking. In just a few weeks the developer delivered better results than those who had worked on the project for a year. It was not only her technical skills – it was her work ethic, business focus and innovative approach to problem solving.
A technical challenge can be solved in a number of ways, but the key is to keep the business needs in mind and that’s exactly what happened. Following this incredible success, Benivo hired a second software developer and within a year the team had grown to fifteen members. Today Benivo is a proudly multicultural company with employees from twenty nationalities, spread across two continents and a team of over 20 members in Yerevan.
An important factor in the company’s growth was the strategic support and investment of Armenia’s first venture capital fund Granatus Ventures. The local knowledge and expertise supported Benivo’s rapid growth in Armenia.
Towards the end of 2015 Benivo experienced rapid growth and had to significantly upgrade its product – and relocation solution – to address the needs of its new clients. It was a challenging time with customers demanding high quality solutions and giving the company a very short time to deliver. Once again the Armenian team surpassed expectations and within two months they managed to develop a complete new product to meet the clients’ needs. Their creativity and commitment to providing technology-driven solutions and result-driven approach made this happen.
Armenian technology is now used internationally by industry-defining companies, ensuring that thousands of employees are able to relocate to new cities for work and feel welcome regardless of age or wage.
Benivo is still growing rapidly, not only in size but also increasing its commitment to the centre in Armenia and is looking to expand the local team to forty talented members – delivering on its mission to make every employee welcome.
Benivo is supporting the startups and tech ecosystem industries in Yerevan; sharing knowledge, advising startups on sales, marketing, technology, product and fund raising. Armenia might be a small country, but big innovation is coming from it and changing the way companies engage with their employees globally.