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Remote, a human resources (HR) platform designed to help businesses build and manage remote teams around the world, has raised $150 million in a series B round of funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion.
The two-year-old startup has set up legal entities in dozens of countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia, allowing it to offer payroll, compliance, taxes, and benefits services to businesses of all sizes. The platform, essentially, allows any company to set up shop in a new market without the associated administrative headaches.
While some companies are already cranking their post-pandemic return-to-office plans into gear, it seems likely that remote work is here to stay in some form, be that as part of a permanently distributed workforce or more of a hybrid model. Indeed, news recently emerged that with Apple preparing to lure its workers back in from their home offices, employees were pushing back against the plans.
With other big businesses committed to flexible working conditions permanently, it’s becoming clear that the ability to work from anywhere will be a major competitive advantage in terms of hiring.
“Remote work is here to stay, and more companies are realizing that offering flexible remote work options will help them attract and retain an increasingly mobile workforce,” Remote CEO Job van der Voort told VentureBeat. “We’ve been approached by a few multinational companies who are seeing high demand from their workforce to offer more flexible remote work options. This includes the ability to live and work abroad in countries where the company does not have a physical presence.”
Prior to now, Remote had raised around $46 million, the bulk of which arrived via its $35 million series A round in October. That the company has now locked down another $150 million in funding less than a year later is indicative that the distributed workforce is no flash in the pan. According to van der Voort, its customer base — which includes GitLab, Arduino, and Loom — has risen sevenfold since its last fundraise, with revenue growing by 65 times. It has also increased its own internal (remote) headcount from 50 to almost 300 people in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions.
With another $150 million in the bank, Remote is now looking to expand to 80 countries (up from 50 today) by the end of this year, while it hopes to cover the majority of the globe by the end of 2022. More notable, perhaps, is that Remote is ramping up its ambitions in the enterprise, having so far been more focused on smaller businesses since its inception. To help, the company today launched the Remote global employee API for HR and payroll software makers to funnel Remote’s own infrastructure into their own platforms.
The API is already being used by employee data management company Rippling, which has integrated Remote to enable its own customers to “compliantly onboard international employees, consolidate domestic and international payroll, and accelerate their global expansion.” In real terms, this means that Rippling users will be able to hire, onboard, and pay workers anywhere in the world that Remote supports — all through a single HR platform.
“Over the last year while building our core offer, we have focused on meeting the needs of the underserved SMB segment, companies with anywhere between 5 to 1,500 employees, with a few clients as large as 4,000 employees,” van der Voort explained. “With the launch of the Remote Global Employee API and additional advisory services supporting the international expansion of global businesses, we are making a very decisive move up-market into the enterprise segment.”
It’s worth noting that prior to starting Remote, van der Voort was VP of product at GitLab, which — besides being one of Remote’s customers today — also happens to be a poster child for the remote-working movement. Put simply, Remote is well versed in what it takes to cater to the needs of companies that need a global presence without the pain of setting up shop.
“Before Remote I built GitLab, one of the first 100% remote companies in the world; thus I know first-hand the challenges of expanding across international borders,” van der Voort said. “Aside from our platform and global infrastructure, we have deep expertise in how to operate in legal systems and cultures around the world. Thus, we’re able to provide guidance to our customers — what is it like to enter a new country, what are the cultural norms and expectations, what are the tax and labor laws, how to avoid compliance issues due to misclassification of contractors, how to relocate employees, how to navigate visas and work permits, how to provide equitable incentive plans for international employees, and so on — so they can provide a great employee experience.”
Remote’s series B round was led by Accel, with participation from a slew of existing investors including Sequoia, Index Ventures, Two Sigma, General Catalyst, and Day One Ventures.
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