Betterfly becomes the first Latin America Social Unicorn

Building Betterfly from zero to $1 billion – a letter from our CEO

by Eduardo della Maggiora

Feb 1, 2022

Since 2018, Betterfly has grown from zero to a global company with 500 employees and a valuation of $1 billion. Join me in reliving some of that story and find out where we come from.

Prevention, Protection and Purpose

While riding my bike one day in late 2017, a crazy idea crossed my mind; what if we could “convert the calories burned exercising into calories of food for children in need?” What if we could use technology and the Power of Purpose to inspire people to improve their wellbeing? What if we could empower people to make an impact and protect their families just by living their best lives?

In March 2018 we launched our first minimum viable product (MVP) with a “30-day calorie challenge” to “convert calories of exercise into calories of food” through the sponsorship of brands.

We wanted to test our hypothesis that human beings are “designed to give back and help others” and when presented with the opportunity to make an impact – in a simple and tangible way – we do not hesitate to do so. The MVP was a big success with more than 10 global brands sponsoring this challenge, and after 30 days – with zero dollars spent in marketing – we were able to connect and engage with over 50,000 people that burned 75 million calories of exercise which we converted into 75 million calories of food, enough to provide life-saving nutrition for 1,000 kids in Haiti suffering from severe malnutrition.

Since that first MVP I became obsessed about solving a problem that connected with my personal journey and professional background, and the idea that “Prevention, Protection and Purpose”, would make a powerful combination. I fell in love with the problem, not the solution, and we would pivot many times before Betterfly became a scalable business.

The Power of Purpose and Dreaming Big

One of the first things we did as a company was to focus on our Culture, building a team and company where the Power of Purpose and Dreaming Big were front and center.

Early on we made a commitment to create an impact first company and structure ourselves in a way that would put social purpose at the center of everything we did – Technology, Operations, Culture and Brand – with a legal mission and a business model that considered a “triple bottom line” – People, Planet and Profit. We incorporated our company as a Public Benefit Corporation and certified ourselves as a B-Corp.

When we made the decision to structure ourselves in this way, I was frequently told that this would prevent us from growing and raising capital in the future. In reality, the opposite has been true. I would go as far as saying that the fact that we put social purpose at the center of everything we do, is the reason we have been able to grow as we have and reach several milestones that just a couple of years back would have seemed impossible.

We also started Dreaming Big and taking risks since our first days. We attempted a Guinness World Record, partnered with the United Nations to organize the biggest 10k race in Chile, partnered with Lollapalooza becoming the first app to be part of the music festival, launched our brand in a professional soccer stadium, shared our story on a TED stage, and the list goes on and on. We were a very small team with limited resources, but that did not prevent us from trying and attempting to do things that seemed impossible and, in some cases, making them happen.

Fast forward to today, and we’ve built a company with a unique and purpose-driven culture, a global team that dreams big every day, and a powerful mission to Inspire People Do Better, Live Better, and Be Better.

Since launching our benefits platform in 2020, Betterfly’s grown from a small startup of 30 to a mighty team of 500+ from 17 countries. As we expanded and hired exceptional people everywhere, we also ended the year 20x-ing our revenue growth with more than 2,500 corporate clients, ranging from small businesses to publicly traded ones.

Today we are announcing our $125 million Series C round led by Glade Brook Capital with participation from new investors Greycroft, Mundi Ventures and Lightrock, a global impact fund focused on growth equity, among others. QED Investors and DST Global Partners – who led our Series A and Series B rounds respectively – also participated in the round, reinforcing their commitment and confidence in Betterfly.

This round values Betterfly at $1 billion and comes just six months after our $60 million Series B, bringing the total amount we’ve raised in the last 12 months to over $200 million.

While we take the time to bask in the glory of this massive feat, our work at Betterfly is far from complete. It’s just the tip of the iceberg for us.

Where do we go from here?

We’re excited about what the future holds and how we can grow by focusing on some key areas with this additional funding and take our Betterfly Effect to every corner of Latin America and the world.

Investing in expansion to new countries

Continuing our international growth trajectory is a huge focus. We plan to begin operations in seven new markets in 2022 – Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica – and three new markets in 2023 – United States, Portugal, and Spain.

Launching new products and partnerships

We plan to continue to grow our platform, including new insurance products, lifestyle and financial services to our benefits offering, establishing key partnerships with insurance carriers and financial service companies.

Continue leading the way for social conscious businesses

We want to continue building a company driven by purpose and help pave the way to accelerate the world’s transition to businesses that put social good at the core of their strategy and how they measure success.

Building with a purpose-driven team

Our diverse international team has been the key to our progress. Betterfly could not have achieved this level of growth so quickly without a remarkable group of people from all over the world. That’s why we’re doubling down on hiring exceptional talent across the globe to grow faster, build better, and create impact at scale.

Final thoughts

It’s humbling to think about the journey that’s taken us from zero to here in less than 2 years since launching our platform and 4 years since that bike ride where the idea of “recycling calories” first crossed my mind.

To all our investors, customers, partners, and supporters: thank you for joining us on this mission and believing in our dream. We can’t wait to continue working with you towards our vision of creating a world in which every person is financially protected and empowered to live their best life.

To every entrepreneur and those of you thinking of joining a startup; we are living one of the greatest transformations of our lifetimes where technology is providing opportunities never seen before to even the playing field for millions of people. There’s never been a better time to get out of your comfort zone, start something new and create impact at scale. Focus on things you are deeply passionate about and that can make this world a better place. The purpose of life is to discover your gift, and the meaning of life is to give your gift away. Start today, be humble and always pay it forward.

Finally, to our amazing team, to my family, and specially my kids; don’t let anybody or anyone stop your dreams and never settle for less than you are worth or want to achieve. No matter what your circumstances are, the world is full of opportunity and new opportunities are constantly being created. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. If you can dream it, you can do it. Never stop dreaming, never stop believing.

Eduardo della Maggiora

Founder & CEO

If you’d like to learn more about our Betterfly Effect and how we can work with your organization and team