Remote raises $150M on a $1B+ valuation to manage payroll and more for organizations’ global workforces


For many of us, going to work these days no longer means going to a specific office as it used to be; And today a startup that has built a platform to help meet that new, bigger world of employment – ​​wherever talent may be – is announcing a major round of funding on the back of strong demand for its equipment.

Distant, which provides tools to manage onboarding, payroll, benefits and other services for technical and other knowledge workers located in remote countries – whether they are contractors or full-time employees – has raised $150 million. Dutch CEO and co-founder of New York-based Remote, Job van der Voort, confirmed in an interview that the funding is valued at more than $1 billion.

Accel is leading this Series B, which also has participation from previous investors Sequoia, Index Ventures, Two Sigma, General Catalyst and Day One Ventures.

The money will be used in certain areas. First and foremost, it will go towards expanding its business to more markets. The startup is built from the ground up in a fully integrated manner, and unlike many others that compete in providing employer of records services, Remote completely owns all of its infrastructure. It now offers its HR services to 50 countries as fully operational legal entities (it aims to increase this to 80 by the end of this year). It is also slated to enhance the platform with more tools around areas such as benefits, equity incentive schemes, visa and immigration assistance and employee relocation.

“We are doubling down on our approach,” van der Voort said. “We try to completely own the whole stack: entity, operations, in-house specialist, payroll, benefits and visa and immigration – all the items that come up most often. We deal in infrastructure products, basic products. want to manufacture because they have a high level of quality and ultimately a low price.

In addition, Remote will use the funding to continue building more tools and partnerships to integrate with other providers of services in a very fragmented human resources market. Two of these are being announced today to coincide with funding news: Remote has launched a global employee API that HR platforms that focus on domestic payroll will be able to provide its international offering powered by Remote. can be integrated. HR platform Ripple (Parker Conrad’s latest act) is one of its first customers. And Remote HR is getting even more comfortable with other parts of the chain’s services: applicant tracking system Greenhouse is now integrating with it to help with the onboarding process for new employees.

In fact, $150 million at a $1 billion+ valuation is a very, very large Series B even by today’s flush-market standards, but it comes after a bumper year for the company, and especially since November of last year. From when he extended the Series A. of $35 million. Over the past nine months, the number of subscribers has increased seven-fold, leading to a 10-fold increase in the number of users on the platform. Most interestingly, perhaps, the remote’s revenue — its packages start at $149 per month, but go up from there — is a huge amount: 65x, the company said. It basically alludes to the fact that engagement with those users — how much they’re leaning on the remote’s technology — has skyrocketed.

Although there are plenty of competitors in the same space as Remote — they include Oyster (which announced $50 million in funding in June), several more local players with a much larger array of startups like Deal, which is Now Valued at $1.25 Billion; Turing; Papaya Global (now valued at over $1 billion); And much more – the opportunity they are facing collectively is huge, if anything, it seems to be growing.

Hiring internationally has always been an expensive, time-consuming and organizationally challenging endeavor, so much so that many companies have opted not to do it at all or to reserve it for very unique cases. However, that paradigm has changed drastically in recent years.

Even before COVID-19 hit, there was a shortage of talent, resulting in a competitive struggle for good people in companies’ domestic markets, which encouraged companies to look ahead when hiring. Then, once looking ahead, those employers had to consider hiring those people remotely — that is, letting them work remotely — because the process of relocating them was also more expensive and harder to work with. It was done

Then COVID-19 happened, and everyone, including people working at company headquarters, started working remotely, reshuffling the goalposts, which is expected by workers, and bringing in a new person, or Which organizations are ready to consider management. What he already knows, just from afar.

While a lot of that has played into the idea of ​​relocating to different cities in the same country—Miami and Austin getting a huge wave of Silicon Valley “expats” being two examples—it’s now time to consider. There seems to be a small jump that sourcing and management is getting too international slanted. Many new employees as well as existing employees who may not be from the US, or simply want to see another part of the world, are now part of the mix. That’s where companies like Remote are coming in and reducing the barriers to entry by making it easier to hire and manage someone overseas as it is in your own city.

“Remote is at the center of a profound change in the way companies work,” Miles Clements, a partner at Accel, said in a statement. “Their new global employee API opens access to Remote’s robust global employment infrastructure and knowledge map, and will help any human resources provider expand internationally at a pace previously impossible. Remote’s future as a financial services provider Our vision will be to consolidate complex processes into one trusted platform, and we are excited to partner with the global leader in the rapidly evolving category of remote work.

And it’s interesting to see that it is now partnering with the likes of Rippling. It was a no-brainer that as the latter company matured and evolved, it would have to consider how to handle the international component. Using APIs from a remote is an example of how the model that has played into communication (led by companies like Twilio and Cinch) and fintech (hello, Stripe) also has an analog in HR, with the remote on it. takes charge.

And to be clear, for now Remote has no plans to make a product that it will sell directly to individuals.

“Persons are approaching us, saying, ‘I got this job and can you help me out and make sure I get paid?’ It has been interesting,” Van der Voort said. “We thought [building a product for them] But we have a lot to do with employers first.” One thing that’s encouraging in Remote’s approach is that it may not want to provide this service until it can fully comply, which That means checking “every major employer” in the case of an individual, he said, which is too big a task for now.

Meanwhile, the remote itself plays when it comes to working the remote. Originally co-founded by two European transplants in San Francisco, the pair had first-hand experience of the paradoxical pain and opportunities of being in an organization utilizing a remote workforce.

Van der Voort was GitLab’s VP of Product, which he grew from five to 450 employees working remotely (it’s now a customer of Remote); And before co-founding Remote, CTO Marcelo Lebre was VP of engineering for Unbel – another startup focused on bridging international barriers, this time on how companies and global customers communicate.

Today, the CEO is not only based out of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, with a CTO in Lisbon, Portugal, but the New York-based remote itself has grown from 50 employees to 220, and this broad group is also working remotely in 47 countries. From November 2020.

“The world looks very different today,” van der Voort said. “The biggest change for us has been the size of the organization. We’ve gone from 50 to over 200 employees, and I haven’t met any of them! We’ve tried to adhere to our values ​​of bringing opportunities everywhere, That’s why we rent everywhere because we solve it for our customers as well.”

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