A Chat with Stella Smith, CEO of pirkx

Large employers often provide ‘Employee Benefits’ to support the wellbeing of their workforce. The contingent workforce – contractors, the gig economy -and even employees of smaller businesses or charities often have little or no access to these benefits due to ineligibility, complex on-boarding processes or high cost. pirkx solves these issues by providing benefits for everyone – at a low cost, via a simple, easy to use, self-service platform.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Having previously founded several small businesses supported by a network of freelance and contract workers, I knew from first-hand experience that there were simply no wellbeing packages I could offer to them that came close to the benefits I enjoyed while working at large corporates with big budgets. We started with a mission to change this for our people and then we realised the extent of the problem and now our mission has grown to change it once and for all.

pirkx is a technology platform on a mission to make wellbeing benefits affordable and accessible to all. We believe it is an injustice that wellbeing benefits should be reserved for a small minority working in large corporates with big pockets and our goal is to change this for good. Our service perfectly caters to SME business, the self-employed and contract workers but any individual, anywhere, can access pirkx.

There are 3.2 billion workers globally and 91% of them have no workplace wellbeing benefits. This means they are effectively locked out of benefits including important and meaningful things like mental wellbeing support and financial support and education unless they choose to pay for it themselves. That’s one enormous addressable market and our goal is to reach as many of these workers as we can, so we can play our part in improving global wellbeing levels.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Our business has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. It feels like living in something you read about, truly amazing! We have been supported by some of the brightest minds in the tech and wellbeing industries and grown our customer base considerably. We’ve also been quietly building an incredible technology stack capable of supporting rapid global scale and our goal is now to bring this scale to life!

Our ethos however has never changed. Our mission is to support people to be happier, healthier, humans and to do that we understand that not every person has the same definition of wellbeing. That’s why pirkx’s benefits range from health to wealth through to education.

For just £4.50 per month per user, pirkx gives businesses and individuals a package of health and wellbeing benefits previously available only to employees of large corporations. Over 40 benefits span health, wealth and education and include on-demand GP services, counselling and mental health support, shopping discounts and skills training courses. This is all delivered via a uniquely flexible, configurable, self-service platform – it’s our version of ‘wellbeing on demand’.

Our technology platform enables us to build a comprehensive, streamlined, and bespoke service which reaches more people, quicker.


What can we hope to see from you in the future?

The future is all about growth. We are so excited about the potential of pirkx. Our goal is to make a real dent in that 91% of workers locked out of corporate benefits and we’re so excited about the potential impact this can have on global wellbeing levels.

Our platform is ready to scale-up and we’re planning to launch into several big markets including South Africa while continuing to nurture and grow our UK community – very exciting times and hopefully a legacy for our family, friends, those we care deeply about and even those we don’t already know. We hope to include 1m people in the pirkx family by 2025.