The growth of remote working and managing workforces that are distributed well beyond the confines of a centralized physical office — or even a single country — has spotlighted the human resources technology that organizations use to help manage those people. Today, one of the HR startups that’s been seeing a surge of growth is announcing a round of funding to double down on its business.
Oyster, a startup and platform that helps companies through the process of hiring, onboarding, and then providing contractors and full-time employees in the area of “knowledge work” with HR services like payroll, benefits, and salary management, has closed a Series A round of $20 million.
The company is already working in 100 countries, and CEO and Tony Jamous (who co-founded the company with Jack Mardack) said in an interview that the plan is to expand that list of markets and also bring in new services, particularly to address the opportunity in emerging markets to hire more people.
Currently, Oyster does not cover candidate sourcing or any of the interviewing and evaluation process: those could be areas where it might build its own tech or partner to provide them as part of its one-stop-shop. It has dabbled in virtual job fairs as a pointer to one potential product that it might explore.
“There 1.5 billion knowledge workers coming into the workforce in next 10 years, mostly from emerging economies, while in developed economies there are some 90 million jobs unfilled,” Jamous said. “There are super powers you can gain from being globally distributed, but it poses a major challenge around HR and payroll.”
Emergence Capital, the B2B VC that has backed the likes of Zoom, Salesforce, Bill.com, and our former sister site Crunchbase, is leading the funding. The Slack Fund (Slack’s strategic investment vehicle) and London firm Connect Ventures (which has previously backed the company at the seed stage) are also participating. The investment will accelerate Oyster’s rapid growth and support its mission of enabling people to work from anywhere. Oyster’s valuation is not being disclosed. The startup has raised about $24 million to date. E, the ADPs of the world of distributed work include Deel, Remote, Hibob, Papaya Global, Personio, Factorial, Lattice, Turing, and Rippling. And these are just some of the HR startups that have raised money in the last year; there are many more.
The attraction of Oyster seems to come in the simplicity of how the services are provided — you have options for contractors and full-timers and complete, larger staff deployments in other countries. You have options to add on benefits for employees if you choose. And you have some tools to work out how hires fit into your bigger budgets and guide you on remuneration in each local market. Pricing starts at $29 per person, per month for contractors, $399 for working with total employees, and other packages for larger deployments.
Oyster works with local partners to provide some aspects of these services, but it has built the technology to make the process seamless for the customer. As with other services, it essentially handles the employment and payroll as a local provider on behalf of its customers but can do so under contract terms that reconcile both a company’s own policies and those of the local jurisdictions (which can differ widely between each other in areas like vacation time, redundancy terms, maternity leave and more).