Deel, a payroll and compliance platform for international teams, today announced it has raised $30 million in Series B funding, led by Spark Capital.
The investment closely follows a $14M Series A round, closed in May, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Deel’s total funding now exceeds $48 million, including seed investment and participation from YC Growth Fund and notable angel investors including Nat Friedman, Ryan Petersen, John Zimmer, William Hockey and Alexis Ohanian.
The global pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote work as many U.S. businesses give teams the freedom and space to choose where they work from, ensuring safety while also improving quality of life and operational costs. Without the need for employees to have a physical office presence, it has opened up the opportunity to recruit and hire talent from anywhere in the world.
Deel’s platform solves the largest logistical challenges that come with moving to a distributed, global workforce: payroll and compliance. Onboarding and paying workers across borders is complex, with specific currency and labor law requirements that vary by country. It can be both costly and time consuming.
“We’ve squashed the conventional notion that there’s a particular radius in which you can attract talent,” said Deel co-founder and CEO, Alex Bouaziz. “By bridging localized compliance and payments and then automating it, we are making a complex and manual process seamless and redefining U.S. companies’ hiring pool to literally include qualified candidates from anywhere.”
Deel supports over 500 companies and thousands of employees on their teams in more than 140 countries. The platform provides contracts and templates - legally vetted and compliant - to be used for tax forms and localized contracts, automated payment, invoicing and receipts and customer support. Both independent contractors and full-time employees are supported by Deel’s technology.
During the pandemic, Deel has experienced rapid growth. Deel’s customer base has doubled and there are now 14x as many individual full-time employees and independent contractors on the platform since May.
“We have filled 15 marketing and engineering roles with employees in 7 countries, using Deel’s platform,” said Julie Bissinger, Head of Operations for Near, Inc. “Deel saves us hours of time every month and ensures we’re compliant in our team members’ local regions.”
“Technology will be the great enabler in achieving workforce equality,” said Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and early-stage investor. “Deel’s platform makes more diverse hiring choices possible. Unbound by geography, businesses can hire the best person for the role, wherever and whoever they may be.”
While the venture industry typically depends on in-person meetings to meet and evaluate investment opportunities, the investment landscape amidst COVID-19 has seen more firms forgo the handshake and opt for videoconferencing and other tools. Deel pitched and completed both its Series A and B funding entirely online with the help of remote collaboration and social and video platforms. Deel not only supports its customers’ remote business operations, it benefits from its own product as well, employing a remote workforce spanning 15 countries.
Spark Capital’s General Partner, Yasmin Razavi reached out to Bouaziz over Twitter DM. This kicked off an 6-week back-and-forth series of Zoom meetings and calls in which the investment was made.
“I was interested in Deel from the get-go as the best suited to be the winner in a category on the cusp of huge growth,” said Razavi, General Partner at Spark Capital. “The hurdles employers face when hiring employees in other global regions can be so Herculean, they ultimately give up on hiring their ideal candidate and settling for the most hirable. Deel eliminates those hurdles and enables employers to hire and onboard efficiently, allowing them to get to work faster.”
Deel was co-founded in 2018 by MIT alumni Alex Bouaziz and Shuo Wang. The leadership team combines deep technical expertise with a strong partner network for regulatory and compliance, which includes more than 150 international labor law and accounting experts.