Papaya Global raises $100M more at a $1B+ valuation for tools to hire, pay and manage distributed workforces – TechCrunch

by Joseph K. Clark

Remote working — hiring people further afield and letting them work outside of a central physical office — looks like it will be here to stay. Today, one of the startups building tools for that environment is announcing a big fundraiser in response to the opportunity. Papaya Global, an Israeli startup that provides cloud-based payroll and hiring, onboarding, and compliance services across 140 countries for organizations that employ full-time, part-time, and contract workers outside of their home country, has picked up $100 million in funding and has confirmed that its valuation is now over $1 billion.

Papaya is not disclosing revenue numbers but said that sales have grown 300% year-over-year for the last three years. The company targets organizations that not only have global workforces but are expanding their employee bases quickly. They include fast-growing startups like OneTrust, nCino, and Hopin (today announced a monster $400 million round) and significant corporates like Toyota, Microsoft, Wix, and General Dynamics.

This Series C is the new investment that brings Papaya’s total funding to $190 million. Ed by GreenOaks Capital Partners and includes significant participation from IVP Ventures and Alkon Capital. Previous backers Insight Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Dynamic Loop, New Era, Workday Ventures, Access Ventures, and Group 11 also chipped in. Papaya has been on a fundraising tear in the last 18 months. Today’s news comes less than six months after it raised a $40 million Series B. And that round came less than a year after a $45 million Series A.

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Why so much, so quickly? Partly because of the demands on the business, but possibly also to capitalize on an opportunity when so many others are also going after it simultaneously. The opportunity is that companies and other organizations are finding themselves needing tools to address the current state of play: workforce growth today doesn’t look like it did in 2019, and such incumbent solutions like ADP or cobbled-together solutions covering multiple geographies either don’t cut it or are too costly to maintain. Papaya Global, in contrast, says it has built an AI-based platform that automates a lot of work and removes much of the manual activity that comes from trying to right-size many legacy payroll products to work in new paradigms.

“The major impact of COVID-19 for us has been changing attitudes,” CEO Eynat Guez, who co-founded the company with Ruben Drong and Ofer Herman, told me in an interview last September. “People usually think that payroll works by itself, but it’s one of the more complex parts of the organization, covering major areas like labor, accounting, and ax. Eight months ago, a lot of clients thought, it just happens. But now they realize they didn’t have control of the data; some don’t even have a handle on who is being paid.”

One challenge, however, is that many others are also chasing these customers in hopes of becoming the ADP distributed work. Last month, a startup called Oyster, also aimed at distributed workforces, raised $20 million. Others in the same area that have raised lots of capital include Turing,  DeelRemoteHibob, PersonioFactorialLatticeTuring, and Rippling. And as we have pointed out, these are just some of the HR startups that have raised money in the last year. There are many, many more.

“Papaya Global has built a best-in-class solution to onboard new employees, automate payroll, and manage a global workforce through a single pane of glass. Growing and established companies have dramatically changed their working practices recently, and Papaya has seen impressive growth. We’re excited to continue supporting them as they seek to simplify an increasingly complex challenge for some of the world’s biggest companies,” said Patrick Backhouse, Partner at Greenoaks Capital, in a statement.

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