Employment Hero hits double unicorn status with $263m Series F

Employment Hero hits double unicorn status with $263m Series F

Employment Hero co-founders Ben Thompson (left) and Dave Tong (right). Photo credit: Anna Kucera.

Sydney-headquartered human resources (HR) tech company Employment Hero has secured $263 million in a Series F growth round led by Californian venture capital firm TCV to help power its international growth, although co-founder and CEO Ben Thompson says the group was "not actively seeking funding".

The latest raise, subject to Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval, comes 20 months after Employment Hero first achieved unicorn status with a $1.25 billion after a $181 million Series E round.

The new funding means Employment Hero has passed the unicorn benchmark twice with a valuation now above $2 billion.

Through continued vertical integration, Employment Hero has built an all-in-one platform to recruit, onboard, pay and manage talent seamlessly and in compliance with regulations and standards. Its app 'Swag' is a real-time control centre, allowing employees to manage their work and financial lives efficiently and intelligently.

Employment Hero is also set to expedite the global roll-out of its artificial intelligence (AI) driven recruitment solution SmartMatch, following a successful launch in Australia.

"Whilst we were not actively seeking funding, our growth story has meant that we have received significant inbound investor interest – this has given us incredible confidence in our vision and allowed us to opportunistically boost our balance sheet, even at a time when the funding environment has been tight," says Thompson, who co-founded the company with chief technology officer (CTO) Dave Tong in 2014.

"TCV is a leading technology investor with an enviable track-record backing many of the world’s most ubiquitous digital platforms like Airbnb and Spotify, so we are very excited to welcome them aboard as we do the same for employment."

Thompson says within 12 months Employment Hero will "transcend" the traditional confines of HR and payroll, with sights set on becoming a $50-billion plus business

"We will open doors to a world where talent flows like water through a pipe, right to your doorstep. That's the future we're building," he says.

"Businesses can seamlessly plug into our unparalleled reservoir of talent, with automatic compliance and compensation mechanisms.

"No more time or hassle growing your business. We're on a trajectory to become the world's largest centralised payroll and recruitment hub, reaching all markets with our highly automated infrastructure."

TCV general partner Muz Ashraf says the firm is thrilled to support Employment Hero on the journey to make employment work better for employers and employees globally. 

"We have been fortunate to know Ben, Dave, and the broader Employment Hero team for several years, and have been deeply impressed by their ingenuity, grit, and velocity in solving one of the fundamental pain points facing small to medium-sized businesses," says Ashraf.

"Employment Hero is a best-in-class HRIS (human resources information system) platform, which is differentiated in offering integrated HR and payroll functionality across multiple geographies," adds TCV partner Alexander Wortmann.

"By connecting businesses to a vast pool of talent, Employment Hero is now reimagining recruitment and payroll for the modern age. We look forward to partnering with Employment Hero's talented team to execute on this exciting growth trajectory and global expansion."

Employment Hero's earlier backers Insight Partners, AirTree, Seek and OneVentures all participated in this raise.

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