Happay launches a zero-fluff corporate rewards programme for startups
In April this year, the all-in-one expense management solutions company Happay launched EPIC - a one-of-its kind premium corporate card designed specifically to suit the needs of startups. With EPIC, startups were able to get dedicated physical and unlimited virtual cards to streamline AWS payments, digital ad spends, and make one-time or recurring SaaS software payments. Moreover, with pre-spend control, analytics and integrations, it gave organisations a spending round-up on their fingertips.
“The launch got an overwhelming response from startups and our inbound queries multiplied. CFOs and Finance teams are loving it and they are referring EPIC to people in their circles,” shares Varun Rathi, COO & Co-Founder of.
One such customer is Smallcase — an investment tech startup, which onboarded EPIC soon after the launch.
“We were getting collateral-free credit with higher limits, zero forex markup, and fast onboarding in contrast to bank corporate cards. The other advantages were interesting and relevant as well. There was no reason to re-think,” shares Pratik Lohiya, Senior Finance Manager at the startup.
In just two months, the benefits from EPIC are evident for the startup. “Because we get real-time visibility into transactions of our different products, we are able to save up on hours of manual checking and reconciliation.”
EPIC corporate rewards programme: CFOs new best friend
After tasting success, Happay is now launching a corporate rewards programme on its EPIC card platform that is unlike any other rewards programmes that exist in the market today. The startup says that it has been born out of market demand.
“Most customers who started with digital payments on EPIC, came back to us with new cases and wanted us to include them in EPIC. And, that’s how the rewards programme was born,” shares Varun.
Interestingly, while rewards programmes for personal cards have seen extensive innovation over the years, the developments weren’t mirrored in the corporate cards “While it’s a mature landscape for personal cards, rewards on corporate cards with real benefits for organisations have been nonexistent,” says Varun.
“Corporate rewards programmes are often an eyewash with irrelevant deals, complicated redemption processes, and fine print. The points accumulate and expire because the rewards are not aligned with an organisation’s needs.”
In contrast, EPIC’s reward programme gives startups the flexibility to choose the best reward plan for maximising savings and cashback. From flat discounts on flight bookings to cashbacks with multipliers, and deals from technology partners, it offers real cash gains in the times of pandemic.
Happay has crafted the programme working closely with the founders and CFOs to ensure the benefits are tangible. “We had designed the programme to maximise value for every rupee spent. With cashback ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 percent on the majority of the merchants and 1 percent on select merchants, it's real cash on the table.”
What makes EPIC rewards plan different
At the moment, EPIC offers two reward plans which startups can choose to best suit their company needs.
1. EPIC Value: A plan ideally suited for startups with diverse spending. Startups earn up to 4X cashback on AWS payments, digital ad spends, travel booking, subscription tools like Freshdesk, Jira, etc. They also have a limited period Lockdown offer for collaboration tools including Zoom and Slack. On choosing the Value plan, rewards points get calculated automatically based on spendings and go back to startups as cashback.
2. EPIC Premium: Designed for startups that spend heavily on travel, the Premium Plan gives a flat 10 percent discount on flight bookings and a range of corporate travel benefits. Other privileges include corporate fares, free lounge access, free seat and meal selection, and zero cancellation charges.
“Spending has a negative connotation attached to it. It leads to compliance overhead and cash outflow. While we were addressing control and compliance, with the reward programme, we want to make spending equally rewarding. Startups now have the flexibility to choose the plan that suits their business and flaunt quantifiable savings to the stakeholders,” Varun.
EPIC also collaborates with many technology partners like AWS, Hubspot,, Segment, Mixpanel, Zendesk, and to equip its startup community with the best-in-class technology. Startups get discounts and credits up to $50,000 and a host of complimentary services. For instance, all Happay EPIC Card customers can access $5,000 in AWS credit. And, depending on the company's eligibility, they could even qualify for up to $100,000 in AWS Activate credit. AWS Activate is a free programme specifically designed for startups and early stage entrepreneurs that offers the resources needed to get started on AWS. A benefit like this translates into real value for startups.
While EPIC Value might seem like a winning proposition, the startup says EPIC Premium has been created with a positive outlook, especially given that the pandemic has resulted in a major dip in both leisure and business travel.
Varun says, “EPIC Premium gives the best corporate benefits and discounts to make travel more comfortable, keeping an eye on safety with measures like zero cancellation fee, free seat selection, and lounge access. This will benefit startups that still need to have human touch in their business process, be it meeting prospects or vendors to close deals.”
EPIC: The card for the future
With over 6000+ businesses with 600K users, Happay is a leading player in the spend management space today. With the addition of the rewards programme, EPIC has strengthened its market stronghold and is increasingly being seen as a sure-shot solution for startups to curb unauthorised spendings, improve visibility, and save tons of money through controls, discounts, and cashback. Interestingly, the launch coincides with the eighth anniversary of Happay.
Keeping the current slowdown in mind, the startup initially kept a conservative target of acquiring a Rs 1200 Cr annual run rate by Dec 2020. “But it looks like there was a huge unmet demand for a strong technology backed, new-age corporate card platform. Most customers who started with digital payments on EPIC, have come back to us with new cases which they want to include in EPIC. We are revisiting our targets and planning to double them.”