Sydney human resource [HR] startup Employment Hero has announced the addition of AirTree Ventures to its list of backers, extending its $3 million capital raise by $1.5 million to bring the total raised by the startup to date to $4.5 million. Joining AirTree in the extension are existing backers OneVentures and AMP New Ventures.
Employment Hero is an Australian all-in-one HR benefits and payroll platform that works to simultaneously benefit both employers and their employees through a system of rewards and benefits.
Founder Ben Thompson has been involved in helping companies run HR for years, also working with Power2Motivate, an employee benefits company, and working as director of KeyPay, an online payroll software service.
Through these past experiences Thompson thought there must be a better way to scale to get 10,000 companies on board, rather than just a few hundred.
“I started to think, how can we make an HR platform more affordable for employers and more employee-centric for employees, and that’s when I came up with the marketplace idea. So Employment Hero is now a marketplace, we can make money by saving employees money,” Thompson previously told Startup Daily.
With Employment Hero employers get a free HR platform that helps them manage employee performance, attendance, daily tasks, and rostering. On the employee side of things, Employment Hero offers a range of benefits including everything from discounts on gym memberships, mobile phone plans, electricity and gas, mortgages, and cars, through brand partnerships.
Currently the platform is on track to exceed 100,000 active users by 2017, and will be using the additional capital to offer new features and capabilities and expand its partnership distribution network.
Thompson said the additional funding serves as validation for the company’s proposition to Australian businesses, who have embraced the solution, demonstrated by the company’s rapid growth.
“We’ve made significant progress in a relatively short amount of time. Our subscriber base grew over 300 percent in the first 9 months of 2016 and we’re continuing to develop our offering to provide Australian employers and employees with a raft of benefits,” said Thompson.
“This investment substantiates our success to date and will allow us to build upon it.”
According to a LinkedIn research report, HR benefits and compensation are listed as the fourth most sought-after job skill in Australia. Many specialist skills like remuneration, change management and learning and development are among the most sought after.
The importance of good HR is not being lost on corporates: to accelerate the impact of startups working in the market, Slingshot has today announced the launch of Australia’s first ever HR accelerator called Human Capital.
The accelerator will be focused on driving workplace innovation and will run a 12-week program in collaboration with leaders across the corporate HR space.
With the interest in HR increasing, Employment Hero’s extended funding round will give the startup the opportunity to expand its plans to further innovate the HR and financial services market.
“Including Airtree Ventures in the Series A syndicate alongside OneVentures and AMP New Ventures the company is both well capitalised now and has access to significant reserves of capital around the boardroom table to aggressively drive the business forward into the future”, said Dr. Michelle Deaker, director of Employment Hero and managing partner of OneVentures.
Employment Hero views Australia as just one of many global HR, payroll and financial services markets prime for disruption. The company intends to bring innovation to the sector, which will present lucrative market opportunities, such as its $2.1 trillion superannuation market, via its new technology.
Employment Hero believes technology will extend the concept of financial wellness to all employees and help them to take more control of their finances.
Image: Ben Thompson. Source: Supplied.