Africa’s appetite for cloud computing software continues to increase as connectivity and bandwidth opportunities push the boundaries. According to reports, the continent’s cloud computing industry coupled with the Middle East should to reach $ 31.4 billion in 2016, up from $ 14.2 billion last year.
SeamlessHR, a Nigeria-based company that wants to help African businesses “leverage the continent’s greatest asset: abundant human capital” with its cloud-based human resources (HR) and payroll software, has raised $ 10 million of Series A funding dollars for its next phase. growth and regional expansion.
Pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital led the way. New investor Capria Ventures and existing investors Lateral Frontier Ventures, Enza Capital and Ingressive Capital participated.
The company’s eponymous product is cloud-based, end-to-end HR software that helps businesses manage and streamline all of their human resources processes and workflows.
Its product line includes human resources management system, performance and skills management, human resources analysis, leave management, payroll management and recruitment management.
CEO Emmanuel Okeleji and CTO Deji Lana did not create SeamlessHR from the start. It was four years after several iterations of Insidify, a site that aggregates job seekers and a review site for companies that launched SeamlessHR in 2017.
“The natural customer for our yards was HR,” CEO Okeleji told TechCrunch on a call. So we thought, ‘how can we help HR become more productive and successful so they can run a better, more profitable business and hire more people in the process.’ “
The founder also said that one of the reasons for moving from Insidify to SeamlessHR was that the latter was unprofitable and lacked the flexibility to expand across Africa.
With SeamlessHR, both goals could be accomplished. In 2018, a year after the launch of SeamlessHR’s MVP, revenue grew and was 10 times higher than Insidify.
Initially, the company signed with a few small businesses to build its reputation. But over time, she began to focus on larger clients and listed a bank as her first primary client company. Now its enterprise solution is aimed at a wide range of businesses, the company said.. They range from companies with 100 or fewer employees to large companies with more than 10,000 employees..
They range from multinationals and banks like PwC, AXA and Sterling Bank to startups and investment firms like Flutterwave and TGI Group.
Over 100,000 employees of these organizations use SeamlessHR every month. “We have the largest aggregation of medium and very large companies in Africa,” noted Okeleji.
Four years later, SeamlessHR, having managed the salaries of several hundred companies, is now rich in human resources and payroll data. Relying on such data provides leverage to create more vertical products; for this reason, SeamlessHR will venture into launching integrated financial products for employees.
Here’s how it will work: Suppose a company uses SeamlessHR for its 5,000 employees; each of them can access the platform’s earned salary access where they can access their salary as soon as they have earned it. This is a typical salary structure in markets like the United States, but rarely used in markets like Nigeria.
“In Africa, the innovation that allows people to access credit from their work is not happening in Africa. And HR payroll software is uniquely positioned to lead this innovation because we are using finance, technology and HR to help people convert their jobs into collateral for access to secure credit, ”said the CEO, who thinks that company cash advances will be more appealing to employees. than the “predatory” loans offered by some credit companies.
The African payroll and human resources management market has seen the entry of companies such as Workpay and Bento, backed by YC, which help companies with payroll, taxes and pensions, to carve out a niche in a market that seems be dominated by Seamless HR.
Building an HR solution in Africa requires more workarounds than in developed markets, where most small businesses can afford to pay for software. The opportunity in Africa most belongs to large companies, not SMEs. They have a higher purchasing power and a greater need for HR solutions; they make up the bulk of SeamlessHR’s customers.
In fact, SeamlessHR has replaced legacy and “on-premise” systems like SAP and Oracle in some large companies. locally. Companies now know that they can dispense with hiring employees who needed certifications to manage their software to define and integrate cloud-based software solutions, which can Apparently meet their needs, although cheaper. Software localization also plays a role in SeamlessHR moving these legacy systems to Nigeria.
Andreata Muforo, partner of TLcom Capital, said of the investment: “The solid execution shown by Emmanuel and his team is an essential ingredient required to build successful business and as they expand their products to include integrated finance and launch their solutions to new markets, we are proud to partner with them and strengthen their efforts to unleash more value within the African B2B space.“
Company Says New Funding Will Further Strengthen Its Position As “Africa’s Leading HR and Payroll Cloud Platform. Okeleji, who had a brief stint as an investment banker and practiced as a medical practitioner, said on the call that SeamlessHR, which is present in Nigeria and Ghana, will expand its business in East Africa and Southern Africa with Kenya and South Africa as operating centers, thus hiring more staff.
On the product side, SeamlessHR plans to expand its integrated finance offerings and provide Additional features, especially around artificial intelligence, data analysis and machine learning.
Okeleji mentioned that SeamlessHR will go beyond human resources and payroll at some point in other departments that run the organizations. He also raised the possibility of SeamlessHR expanding beyond Africa to other global markets, referring to recent progress made by Freshworks in India.
“We are developing software solutions to optimize HR now, but in the future we will go elsewhere than HR. And U.S are positioned build a global SaaS business because SaaS products can travel the world faster than, say, fintech. We are beating the global players in our local market and while we don’t distract ourselves now, we know we can play this game on a global scale.. “