Australia’s cloud-based HR startup Employment Hero gets $15m in Series C

Employment Hero co-founder and CEO Ben Thompson and co-founder and CTO Dave Tong. Photo by Wesley Nel

Sydney-headquartered Employment Hero, a cloud-based HR, payroll, and benefits startup, on Monday announced that it has raised A$22 million ($15 million) in a Series C funding round led by employment marketplace SEEK.

The latest funding round, which values Employment Hero at over A$100 million ($70 million), was also backed by Australian venture capital firms OneVentures and AirTree Ventures.

OneVentures is a long-time investor in the startup. It co-led the company’s A$8 million ($6.2 million) Series B funding round with SEEK in March last year.

In a statement, Employment Hero said the fresh funding will allow it to continue to build and expand on its new WorkLife Passport offering. The offering will enable employees to share their onboarding information seamlessly throughout their entire career via the platform.

Employment Hero will also develop strategic integrations into SEEK’s expansive marketplace, working closely with the team to create a “more holistic employment management experience” for small businesses.

According to the startup, about 97 per cent of employers in Australia have less than 200 employees and largely do not have access to tools to make people management process easy or offer more meaningful benefits to their staff.

“This latest raise is an extraordinary opportunity to see Employment Hero’s purpose come to life at scale, fulfilling our mission to make employment easier and more rewarding for everyone,” said Ben Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Employment Hero.

The startup, founded in 2014, offers online human resources (HR) software that combines functions like payroll, employee benefits and retirement, employment contracts and accounting into a single web application, called Employment Management Platform.

The company has doubled its recurring revenue in the last twelve months and will grow its headcount from 134 to 162 by the end of the year. It plans to launch into international markets, with an initial focus on New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the UK, and Ireland.

“We not only want to help our existing businesses to grow internationally, but we want to start supporting the businesses that approach us from outside Australia,” Thompson added.

SEEK, the lead investor in this round, is an ASX-listed creator and operator of online employment markets. It employs over 6,000 people and has a market capitalisation close to A$6 billion ($4.6 billion).

SEEK’s managing director of Corporate Development, Ronnie Fink, said the increased investment in Employment Hero reflects its “confidence in Employment Hero’s value proposition and strong management team.”