The COVID-19 crisis has caused many organizations to acknowledge the advantages of working remotely, although many startups didn’t need the crisis in order to manage dozens, even hundreds of employees in a remote-work environment - sometimes from other countries and continents. The main problem is that each employee who is based in a different country has their own currency, employment terms, preferred form of payment, as well as each country’s different required regulations and forms. The American-Israeli startup, Deel has created a payroll platform, including 100 different currencies and 10 different payment methods, to manage a company’s global workforce.
Hiring globally, without getting caught up in bureaucracy
Deel’s system is meant to give a solution to companies that employ workers or use suppliers in many different countries. The all-in-one system is trying to make the hiring process, contracts, and payments automatic and simple. The employer can choose how payments and salaries are distributed, whether it be through credit, bank transfers, PayPal or ACH networks, while employees can decide if they want to transfer the funds directly into their bank account or PayPal account. With the touch of a button, the employer can pay all pending payments, or even create achievement-based payments, for sales teams, as an example.
If the business is present in the U.S., it’s then possible to collect all the required information to automatically fill out all those annoying tax forms. Every time an employer uses the Deel system to generate a contract, the relevant info is then transferred and processed, thus enabling users to send via Deel all their 1099 forms straight to the IRS.
Participated in Y Combinator, got an investment from A16Z
Recently Deel announced the completion of a $14 million Series A funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz and a number of private investors, while also adding general partner, Anish Acharya to the Board of Directors. Acharya previously served as a general partner at Google Ventures. Andreessen Horowitz was founded in 2009 by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, who founded Opsware. Over the years, the venture capital fund has risen to be one of the biggest and most established investors in the tech world, with previously noted investments in major corporations, such as Airbnb, BuzzFeed, Coinbase, Facebook, Foursquare, GitHub, Groupon, IFTTT, Instagram, Lyft, Lime, Oculus, Pinterest, Slack, Soylent, Skype, and Zynga.
Deel was founded in 2018 by CEO, Alex Bouaziz and CRO, Shuo Wang. According to the company, it has 400 customers spread over 110 countries worldwide, with most of them being startups. This attests to the growing global job trend of simultaneously hiring employees and suppliers from around the world. Currently, the company has 20 employees, with half of them based out of its R&D center in Israel and the rest in sit in the U.S. Since its founding, the company has raised almost $18 million, including a $4 million Seed round led by Soma Capital, AltaIR, as well as a list of angel investors.
In a conversation with Geektime, Alex Bouaziz explains that the entire fundraising process was done at the height of the COVID-19 crisis: “We wish we could meet face-to-face with Andreessen Horowitz, but it still worked out perfectly. Their people, as well as the team from A16Z, are incredibly professional and truly believe in the remote work concept and what we are building.” This is not the company’s only achievement though, as it has also participated in the world-renown Y Combinator accelerator.
Y Combinator is one of the world’s very first accelerator programs, and actually was the one to first coin the term “accelerator”. As part of the program, startups that are accepted receive a $150,000 investment, as well as being transferred to Silicon Valley for 3 months. The startups, which have to part with 7% of their shares, enjoy guidance from professionals while also being exposed to the accelerator’s impressive networking web. Among the past startups that participated in the program, a few names may ring a bell, such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Twitch, Zapier, Stripe, Docker, GitLab, Coinbase, Reddit, Soylent and dozens more.