Africa’s appetite for cloud computing software continues to grow with increased connectivity and bandwidth opportunities. In reports, the cloud computing industry on the continent besides the Middle East is expected To grow to $31.4 billion in 2016 from $14.2 billion last year.
SeamlessHR, a Nigeria-based company that wants to help African companies “take advantage of the continent’s greatest asset: abundant human capital” through its cloud-based human resources (HR) and payroll software, has raised $10 million in Series A funding for their next phase of regional growth and expansion. .
Pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital led the round. New investor Capria Ventures and existing investors Lateral Frontier Ventures, Enza Capital and Ingressive Capital participated.
The company’s eponymous product is a comprehensive cloud-based HR software that helps companies manage and streamline their entire HR processes and workflows.
Its product suite includes HRMS, performance and efficiency management, HR analytics, leave management, payroll management, and recruitment management.
CEO Emmanuel Okeleji and CTO Deji Lana didn’t build SeamlessHR from the start. Four years have passed after several iterations of Insidify, an aggregation site for job seekers and A review site for companies they started SeamlessHR in 2017.
“The natural client for our job sites is human resources,” CEO Okeleji told TechCrunch in a phone call. So we thought, ‘How can we help HR become more productive and successful so they can run a better, more profitable company and hire more people in the process. “
The founder also said that one of the reasons for the pivot from Insidify to SeamlessHR was that the latter was not profitable and lacked the flexibility to expand across Africa.
With SeamlessHR, both goals can achieve this to be achieved. In 2018, a year after the launch of SeamlessHR’s MVP, revenue rebounded and was 10 times more than Insidify..
Initially, the company signed with two smaller companies to build its reputation. But over time, it began to focus on larger clients and registered a bank as its first major client. The company said its enterprise-grade solution now caters to a variety of businesses. They range from companies with 100 employees or less to large companies with more than 10,000 employees.
They range from multinational corporations and banks like PwC, AXA and Sterling Bank to startups and investment firms like Flutterwave and TGI Group.
More than 100,000 employees from these organizations use SeamlessHR monthly. “We have the largest concentration of medium and very large companies in Africa,” Okeleji commented.
Four years at SeamlessHR, after taking over the salaries of several hundred companies, she is now rich in human resources and salary data. Sitting on top of this data provides leverage to create more vertical products; For this reason, SeamlessHR will venture to launch embedded financing products for employees.
Here’s how it would work: Let’s say a company uses SeamlessHR for its 5,000 employees; Any of them can benefit from the access to wages earned from the platform as they can access their salaries as soon as they receive it. It’s a typical salary structure in markets like the US but is rarely used in markets like Nigeria.
“In Africa, the innovation that allows people to get credit from their jobs is not happening in Africa. HR payroll software is well positioned to lead this innovation because we use finance, technology, and human resources to help people turn their jobs into collateral to access secure credit,” said the CEO, who believes the company’s cash advances will attract more employees than “predatory” loans. offered by some lending companies.
The African payroll and HR management market has seen companies like YC-backed Workpay and Bento that help companies pay salaries, taxes and pensions, and carve out a niche for themselves in a market that appears to be dominated by seamless.
Building an HR solution in Africa requires more solutions than in developed markets, where most small businesses can afford the software. opportunity in Africa Especially It is the responsibility of large companies, not small and medium companies. They have higher purchasing power and greater need for HR solutions; They make up the bulk of SeamlessHR’s clients.
In fact, SeamlessHR has replaced legacy and “on-premise” systems such as SAP and Oracle in some large companies locally. Companies now know they can dispense with hiring employees who need certification to manage their software to set up and setup cloud-based software solutions, which can Apparently Serving their needs, albeit cheaper. Software localization also plays a role in SeamlessHR which is replacing these legacy systems in Nigeria.
Andreata Muforo, Partner at TLcom Capital, said of the investment, “The robust execution demonstrated by Emmanuel and his team is a vital component required for the build A successful company and as they expand their products to include embedded financing and launch Solutions for new markets, we are proud to partner with them and boost their drive to unlock more value within the B2B space in Africa.“
The company says its new funding will cement its position as “Africa’s leading cloud HR and payroll platform.”. Okeleji, who spent a short stint as an investment banker and practiced as a physician, said on the call that SeamlessHR, which has a presence in Nigeria and Ghana, will move its business to Eastern and Southern Africa with Kenya and South Africa as operating hubs, thus hiring more staff.
On the product front, SeamlessHR plans to build and deliver its own embedded financial offering additional Jobs, particularly around artificial intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning.
Okeleji stated that SeamlessHR will move beyond HR and payroll at some point to other departments that make organizations tick. He also hinted at the possibility of SeamlessHR expanding beyond Africa into other global markets, noting recent steps by India’s Freshworks.
“We are building software solutions to improve HR now but in the future, we are going to places other than HR. and we They are placed To build a global SaaS company because SaaS products can travel the world faster than FinTech. We are beating the global players in our local market and while we are not distracting ourselves now, we know we can play this game globally. “