Remote raises another $300 million, now at a valuation of over $3 billion, to handle payments and more for globally distributed workforces – TechCrunch

The remote workforce has taken off in recent years, with companies becoming more willing to harness talent wherever it resides, and a vast array of low-friction tools on the way. building to allow these distributed teams to work as efficiently as if they were all in the same physical space. Today, Remote, which has built a platform to hire distributed employees and then ensure that they are compensated easily and legally – in other words, technology that helps companies manage some of the most trickiest parts of managing a remote workforce – heralds a big funding round as it emerges as one of the biggest players to watch in the HR world catering to global and distributed workforces.

The startup has raised $300 million, funding 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 former 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 round of $150m to a valuation of over $1bn in July 2021 – highlights a couple of things. One is the emphasis that distributed working has had particularly over the past two years – a trend that was already underway before Covid-19 but has definitely accelerated as a result; two is how Remote itself has grown during this time.

The company – based in San Francisco but with a fully remote workforce itself, with its two co-founders based in Europe – says the number of employees handled through the remote platform has increased by 900 % last year, with revenues up 13x in the same period (we asked and the company does not disclose actual revenues or other specific numbers). That pace doesn’t seem to be slowing, even as offices gradually reopen and many parts of the world seek to return to pre-Covid routines.

At the other end of the tech world spectrum, there is evidence that some of the funding exuberance of the past two years around pandemic-spurred theses (like growing demand in categories like remote work and delivery) becomes more bearish. But that trend also appears to have overtaken Remote, which raised this round last quarter.

“The power dynamics have completely changed between employers and employees,” Remote CEO Job van der Voort said in an interview, with people more empowered, he noted, to work from where they want, and companies need to provide remote working facilities to secure talent at the price they want. “We only see it accelerating. If there had been a slowdown in this trend, we might not have been able to increase as much.

Remote customers now 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. The services it offers today include payroll, benefits, tax, and local compliance (including employer of record services) for contractors and full-time employees.

Regarding its footprint, Remote currently says it provides services to “over 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 that Remote faces is an old one in the world of work, a challenge that has been exacerbated by globalization. Hiring and then managing the administration of contractors or employees – when they are not based outside a company’s main office and country, and potentially not in any office but at home – can be a thorny affair, traversing a number of different challenges in areas such as international banking, local labor regulations and human resource management. Typically, companies solved this problem by working with local employment companies who manually managed various processes for them, leading to a costly and piecemeal approach that ultimately prevented companies from wanting to get into the process. whether or not to follow policies that would be more beneficial to the company and its workers in the long run.

Van der Voort, who had previously served as VP of Products at GitLab, where he was a proponent of remote working but also someone who understood these challenges first hand: he helped build the remote team of this organization to 450 employees from just five. Lebre, meanwhile, had been the VP of Engineering for Unbabel, which builds tools for businesses to communicate with a global customer base, where he also worked with a distributed team and also saw the opportunity to approach this area in a better way.

There are a number of tech startups in the market today tackling different aspects of remote employment, including Papaya Global, Oyster, Deel, HackerRank, and Turing. Remote’s unique selling point has been to build its stack from the ground up, creating and delivering employer of record services, fully operational legal entities, payroll and benefits, visa and immigration and employee relocation, all delivered in the cloud so an employer can manage teams in different locations from a single dashboard.

The company’s rate of growth in footprint not only reflects the complexity and challenges of building services like these, but also the integrated approach Remote has taken to 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 of the technological chops of the company and its evolution. Notably, Papaya Global acquired Azimo last week specifically to bring money transfer services into its own fold — a feature that Van der Voort noted Remote already had in its stack.

“The way people work has changed permanently and the shift to remote and hybrid working has allowed companies to hire from anywhere in the world, but it can be an intensive, costly and risky process,” said Brett Rochkind, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. , in a report. “Remote has built a comprehensive global platform that creates a fast and seamless experience for hiring and onboarding new employees, wherever they are. We are excited to partner with Job, Marcelo and the team to support their mission to open up the vast potential of the world to every person, company and country.


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