Meet Fleex, a French startup that was formally named Flexlab. The company wants to make it easier to give some cash to your employees so that they can spend it on a desk, an external monitor, some computer peripherals, a nice chair, etc. Essentially, Fleex wants to make it easier to turn remote work into work.
If you work for a big company and have the ability to work from home, chances are your employer has sent you an email saying that you can request an external monitor or an office chair to make work easier during the pandemic. And if you work for a small company, it probably depends on your employer.
Either way, some IT and facility departments now have to deal with a huge inventory of devices and furniture that is spread around everyone’s homes. Setting up policies, ordering portals and inventory can be quite difficult, as well.
Fleex basically wants to help you with that situation. The company lets you allocate a monthly budget for your employees. People can then choose to spend that budget on several products and services.
The startup works directly with suppliers to put together a product catalog. For now, Fleex is starting with IT supplies and furniture.
Fleex then buys supplies for you and sends stuff to your home — it takes care of the full lifecycle of the products. When an employee leaves the company, they have to send equipment back to Fleex.
As you can see, Fleex has a different business model compared to your average software startup. The company has to allocate some capital to buy desks, chairs, screens, printers, etc. It has to figure out whether employees efficiently spend their budget or if they leave some money sitting on their Fleex account.
It has to find out whether products can last for a while before they have to be decommissioned. In other words, it’s going to take a bit of time to figure out the unit economics behind Fleex.
The company is just getting started and is working with a few companies to try out its offering. So far, Swile, Back Market and Shine have been using Fleex. They allocate a monthly budget of €55 per employee on average.
Fleex has raised a $2 million seed round (€1.7 million) and has joined eFounders, a European startup studio focused on software-as-a-service companies.