HR automation platform Omni wants to become the “Ripple of Southeast Asia”

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omni wants to be a HR platform to manage them all – or at least all HR related tasks. The software enables HR departments to digitize employee records, automate administrative tasks such as employee onboarding and time off management, and integrate employee data from different systems. Based in Singapore, it currently operates there and in Indonesia and plans to expand to other Southeast Asian markets after being localized in accordance with employment regulations.

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The startup announced today that it is exiting stealth mode with $2.4 million in an oversubscribed pre-subscription round led by Alpha JWC Ventures and Picus Capital with participation from FEBE Ventures, Basis Set Ventures, Ratio Ventures and Francis Kang of Horizons Ventures. . It also included investments from business angels, including former executives from US HR software companies Namely and Ultimate Software.

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Omni HR was launched in March 2022 and is already being used by several companies, including an Indonesian investment app. Adjaib. The funding will be used to add additional features to Omni, including a hiring module by the third quarter and a productivity module by the end of the year.

The company was founded in 2021 by Brian Yip, a former Goldman Sachs executive, and data engineer YC Chan. Yip told TechCrunch that he previously worked in software investment at Goldman Sachs Growth Fund and looked at a lot of HR deals, which is how he and Chan first learned about the industry.

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“Through research and conversations with end users, we realized that HR software is a category that requires a lot of localization and there is no better product for Southeast Asia yet,” Yip said, adding that most local solutions are only for limited features. like payroll.

But most of the HR departments Chan and Yip interacted with needed a comprehensive solution. Many still used spreadsheets or basic payroll software. Examples of work they did manually that Omni can automate include onboarding new employees, recruiting, performance reviews, collecting documentation such as employee IDs, and preparing HR reports for internal management.

“From a strategic perspective, what we think makes this startup opportunity even more interesting is that we don’t view HR software as a siled tool used only by the HR department,” Chan said. “Instead, we see it as a ‘recording system’ for employee information.”

Nearly every application or business function in a company, including software, devices, office administration, and finance, can be connected to Omni, turning it into a software infrastructure layer.

In terms of competition, Chan said he sees two categories: local payroll software and software imported from overseas. He added that this shortcoming of the payroll software is that it only provides basic administrative functions for payroll and does not scale. They also lack features for performance evaluation, hiring, onboarding, and employee document management.

On the other hand, the imported HR software is not localized, which means it lacks features such as payroll modules for Southeast Asian countries, local customer support, and “sometimes even modules like tracking non-working days.” or attendance management that is not flexible enough to comply with policies.” in the same market,” Yip said.

He added that ripple and other leading American HR platforms such as Gusto as well as Namely currently not available outside the US. “We believe that even if they expand internationally at some point, the localization requirements and geographic focus will allow us to build a solid moat.”

Localization for each market can be quite complex. HR managers in different countries need to collect different information about employees. For example, in Singapore, employees provide their children’s birth certificates so that companies can use them to apply for government reimbursement when they take parental leave. On the other hand, companies in Indonesia collect several forms of identification information, including KTD (resident card), KK (family card) and NPWP (tax ID).

Each country also has different workflows. In Singapore, according to Ip, the probationary period of permanent staff can be “extended”, but in Indonesia, only a maximum of three months is allowed, and it cannot be extended or renewed.

Payroll calculations also vary from country to country and include factors such as taxes, pensions, and other statutory deductions. Leave rules also vary. For hiring purposes, Omni can localize by connecting to local job boards rather than those centered in the US.

Ip said Singapore and Indonesia were chosen as Omni’s first markets because the startup’s initial client segment is technology and related verticals, in particular other venture capital-backed companies. He added that “Singapore is arguably the most mature market in Southeast Asia in terms of software/cloud adoption and willingness to invest. Indonesia is one of the largest and fastest growing markets in Southeast Asia.”

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