Remote workforces have become a reality in recent years, with companies increasingly willing to harness talent wherever it may be, and a wide range of low-friction tools being built to make those distributed teams work with the technology. same efficiency as if they were working. they were all in the same physical space. Today, Remote, which has created a platform for hiring distributed employees and then making sure they are paid easily and legally, in other words, the technology that helps companies with some of the most complicated aspects of managing a workforce remote working, heralds a big round. of financing as it emerges as one of the biggest players to watch in the world of human resources addressing global and distributed workforces.
The startup has raised $300 million, funds that it will use to continue developing the tools it provides to its customers. and expand its technology and services to more geographies. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 leads the round, with participation from previous investors Accel, Sequoia, Index Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, General Catalyst, 9Yards, Adams Street and Base Growth. This Series C values Remote at over $3 billion.
The size of the funding round and its timing: It’s been less than a year since Remote’s Series B, a $150 million round with a valuation of more than $1 billion in July 2021. underline a couple of things. One is the approach that distributed work has taken particularly in the last two years, a trend that was already underway before Covid-19 but definitely accelerated as a result; two is how Remote has expanded in that time.
The San Francisco-based but fully remote workforce, with its two co-founders based in Europe, says the number of employees processed through the remote platform grew 900% in the past year, with revenue that increased by 13. in the same period (we have asked and the company does not disclose actual revenue or other specific figures). That pace doesn’t appear to be slowing, even as offices gradually reopen and many parts of the world look to return to pre-Covid routines.
At the other end of the tech world spectrum, there has been evidence that some of the funding exuberance of recent years around pandemic-driven theses (such as increased demand in categories like remote work and delivery ) is becoming more bearish. But that trend also appears to have bypassed Remote, which raised this round last quarter.
“The power dynamic has completely changed between employers and employees,” remote CEO Job van der Voort said in an interview, with people more empowered to work from wherever they want, and companies needing to provide remote work facilities to ensure the talent at the price they want. “We just see this speed up. If there was a slowdown in that trend, we might not have been able to raise as much.”
Remote customers now they range from small startups to large enterprises and include GitLab, DoorDash, Hello Fresh, Loom, and Paystack, with companies sometimes processing payments and more for as few as four employees via Remote, while others process for thousands. Services currently offered include payroll, benefits, taxes, and local compliance (including employer of record services) for contractors and full-time employees.
As for its footprint, Remote currently says it serves “more than 60” countries, but Job van der Voort, the CEO who co-founded Remote with Marcelo Lebre (COO and CTO), said the goal of expanding that to 100 this year, ultimately serving 140 countries.
The challenge Remote addresses is a long-standing one in the world of work, one that has been exacerbated by globalization. Hiring and then managing the administration of contractors or contract employees, when they are not outside of a company’s main office and country, and possibly not in any office but at home, can be a thorny business, facing a number of different challenges. in areas such as international banking, local labor regulations and human resource management. Companies have typically addressed this by working with local employment agencies who have handled various processes manually for them, leading to a costly and fragmented approach that ultimately prevented companies from wanting to embark on the process; or not following policies that would be more beneficial to the company and its workers in the long run.
Van der Voort — who had previously been vice president of product at GitLab, where he was a supporter of remote work but also someone who understood those challenges firsthand — helped build that organization’s remote team to 450 employees from just five. Lebre, for his part, had been vice president of engineering at Unbabel, which builds tools for companies to communicate with a global customer base, where he also worked with a distributed team and also saw an opportunity to better address this area. .
There are currently a number of tech startups on the market addressing different aspects of remote employment, including Papaya Global, Oyster, Deel, HackerRank, and Turing. Remote’s unique selling point has been building its stack from the ground up, building and providing Employer of Record services, fully operational legal entities, payroll and benefits, visa and immigration support, and employee relocation, all delivered in the cloud so you can an employer can manage teams in different locations from a single dashboard.
The pace of the company’s growth in terms of its footprint speaks not only to the complexities and challenges of developing services like these, but also to the integrated approach Remote has taken in doing so.
“The reality is that it is very difficult to open a new country and sometimes the reasons for a delay are beyond our control,” Van der Voort said.
The integrated approach speaks to the company’s technology skills and how it will scale. In particular, Papaya Global made an acquisition of Azimo the other week specifically to bring money transfer services into its own fold, a feature Van der Voort noted Remote already had in its stack.
“The way people work has permanently changed and the shift to remote and hybrid work has allowed companies to hire from anywhere in the world, but this can be an intensive, costly and risky process,” said Brett Rochkind, managing partner. of SoftBank Investment Advisers. , in a sentence. “Remote has created a full-stack, global platform that creates a fast and seamless experience for hiring and onboarding new employees, regardless of where they are located. We are excited to partner with Job, Marcelo and the team to support their mission to unlock the world’s vast potential for every person, company and country.”