Remote raises $300 million more, now valued at $3 billion, to manage payments and more for a globally dispersed workforce – TechCrunch

Remote workforces have come into their own in recent years, with companies increasingly willing to tap talent wherever it may be, and a wide variety of low-friction tools being built to make those distributed teams work just as effectively as if they were all in the same physical space. Today announces Remote, which has built a platform to hire dispersed employees and ensure they get paid easily and legally — in other words, technology that helps businesses with some of the trickiest aspects of managing a remote workforce — a big round. of funding as it emerges as one of the bigger players to watch in the world of HR targeting global and distributed workforce.

The startup has raised $300 million, funding it will use to continue to build out the tools it provides to its customers and expand its technology and services into more geographic areas. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 leads the round, with past investors Accel, Sequoia, Index Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, General Catalyst, 9Yards, Adams Street and Base Growth also participating. 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 over $1 billion in July 2021 — underscores a number of things. One is the focus that distributed work has had in recent years – a trend that started before Covid-19 but certainly accelerated as a result; two is how Remote itself has expanded in that time.

The company – based in San Francisco but with an entirely remote workforce itself, with its two co-founders in Europe – says the number of employees processed through the Remote platform has grown by 900% in the past year, with revenues that Up 13x over the same period (we asked and the company doesn’t disclose actual revenue or other specific numbers). That pace doesn’t seem to be slowing down, even as offices gradually reopen and many parts of the world appear to be returning to pre-Covid routines.

At the other end of the spectrum from the tech world, there is evidence that some of the lavish funding in recent years surrounding pandemic-driven theses (such as rising demand in categories like remote work and delivery) is turning bearish. But that trend also seems to be over for Remote, which picked up this round in the last quarter.

“The power dynamics between employers and employees have completely changed,” Job van der Voort, CEO of Remote, said in an interview, with people he believes are more empowered to work wherever they want, and companies that have facilities for remote work. have to bid for the talent at the price they want. “We only see this accelerating. If there had been a slowdown in that trend, we might not have been able to pick up as much.”

Remote’s 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 just four employees through Remote, while others process for thousands. Services it offers today include payroll, benefits, taxes, and local compliance (including employer services or records) for contractors and full-time employees.

As for its footprint, Remote currently says it provides services to “more than 60” countries, but Job van der Voort, the CEO who co-founded Remote with Marcelo Lebre (COO and CTO), said the goal is to expand that. to 100 this year, eventually serving 140 countries.

The challenge Remote is addressing has been around for a long time in the world of work, one that has been exacerbated by globalization. Hiring and managing the administration of hired contractors or employees – when not based outside a company’s headquarters and country, and possibly not in an office at all, but at home – can be a tricky business, involving a number of different challenges. in areas such as international banking, local labor regulations and human resources management. Most of the time, companies have addressed this by partnering with local employment agencies who have manually handled various processes for them, resulting in an expensive and fragmented approach that ultimately prevented companies from wanting to embark on the process at all; or not following policies that would be more beneficial to the company and its employees in the long run.

Van der Voort, who was previously VP of Product at GitLab, where he was a proponent of remote work, but also someone who understood these challenges firsthand: He helped grow that organization’s remote team to 450 employees from just five. Lebre, meanwhile, was the VP of engineering for Unbabel, which builds tools for companies to interact with a global customer base, where he also worked with a distributed team and also saw the opportunity to better address this area.

There are a number of tech startups on the market today that tackle various aspects of remote working, including Papaya Global, Oyster, Deel, HackerRank, and Turing. Remote’s unique selling point has been to build its stack from the ground up, building and delivering Employer of Record services, fully operational legal entities, payroll and benefits, visa and immigration support, and employee relocation, all in the cloud, so an employer can manage teams in different places from one dashboard.

The company’s pace of growth in terms of its footprint addresses not only the complexities and challenges of building such services, but also the integrated approach Remote has taken.

“The reality is that it is very difficult to open a new country and sometimes we cannot control the reasons for a delay,” said Van der Voort.

The integrated approach speaks to the company’s tech and how it will scale. Notably, Papaya Global made an acquisition of Azimo last week specifically to bring money transfer services into its own fold — a feature Van der Voort noted Remote already had in its pile.

“The way people work has changed permanently and the shift to remote and hybrid work has enabled companies to hire people all over the world, but this can be an intensive, costly and risky process,” said Brett Rochkind , managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. , in a statement. “Remote has built a full-stack, global platform that creates a fast, seamless experience to hire and hire new employees, wherever they are. 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.”

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