Cloud

Workday raises an astounding $85M for cloud HR and payroll services

If you’ve doubted that cloud-based services are going to take off in a big way, Workday wants you to put your foot in your mouth. The company has raised a new $85 million round of funding with a reported $2 billion company valuation.

Workday provides more than 230 companies with cloud services for human resources, payroll and financial management. While that may not initially sound exciting, those 230 companies account for more than 2 million users and unlike many new cloud-based startups, Workday has a track record of helping organizations cut costs and bringing them immediate value.

The company’s latest funding round includes mostly institutional backers rather than VC firms, a sign the company intends to go public. The round was led by T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley, Janus Capital, and Bezos Expeditions, the investment company of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

“We believe the caliber of this group of investors underscores the market opportunity before us,” said Aneel Bhusri, Workday co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “The world’s largest and most global enterprises are moving their business management solutions to the cloud. With this capital, Workday will continue to expand its core technology, products, go-to-market capability, and administrative infrastructure.”

One area Workday has been focused on lately is the mobile experience, with its cloud offerings working in most mobile browsers and native applications for iPad and iPhone. The company has stated previously that it wants to make sure its users have secure access to critical real-time data no matter where they are.

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Workday was founded in 2005. It last raised a $75 million round in April 2009, with funding led by New Enterprise Associates and participation from previous backer Greylock Partners and Workday co-founder Dave Duffield. Its total funding has now reached an eye-popping $250 million.

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