Category: payroll

Vara raises $4.8M from investors like Go Ventures and Sequoia India’s Surge to digitize Indonesian SMEs’ payrolls

A Zoom group screenshot of Vara's team

Staff management platform Vara’s team

If you follow startup news from Indonesia, you know that the country’s estimated 60 million small businesses are a hot target for tech companies. BukuKas and BukuWarung, for example, both recently raised large rounds to fuel their race to digitize SMEs’ operations. Founded in November 2020, Vara is focused specifically on making staff management easier for small businesses and their workers, replacing the notebooks or spreadsheets many relied on to keep track of payroll with an app called Bukugaji.

The company announced today it has raised $4.8 million in seed funding from Go Ventures, RTP Global, AlphaJWC, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, FEBE Ventures and Taurus Ventures. Founded by Vidush Mahansaria and Abhinav Karale, who met while studying at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Vara is part of the Surge accelerator program’s fifth cohort of startups. It says more than 100,000 small businesses are already using Bukugaji.

The app has features to track attendance, calculate salaries and worker loans and disburse payroll. Mahansaria told TechCrunch that Bukugaji is aimed at companies that have less than 30 employees. Many of them are in retail, food and beverage or labor-heavy service sectors like construction and transportation. Bukugaji has features for specific employee segments, like operational staff who usually work in shifts, or permanent staff whose paychecks are fixed over a specific time period.

“Before downloading and onboarding on Bukugaji, the vast majority of our users utilized notebooks to mark attendance and track payroll,” Mahansaria (Read more...)

Coatue direct deposits $20M into Pinwheel, a payroll API for neobanks

One of the most strategically important financial relationships for neobanks is becoming the account destination for a user’s paycheck. If you’re a bank and you own that specific relationship, users will increasingly use that account for everything from daily spending to saving (after all, that’s where their money is going). That activity in turn leads to expansive opportunities to upsell users to other financial products and generate the kinds of fees that banks love to make.

It just so happens though that users are often baffled in how to change their direct deposit instructions. To do so, they still have to go into ancient payroll systems, fill out account and routing data, verify that it’s correctly setup and more — all steps that can fluster users who will just give up.

Pinwheel is a “payroll connectivity” API designed to bridge this divide. It helps neobanks and other clients connect into a users’s payroll information system, offering everything from direct-deposit switching to income verification (a hot space these days), and paycheck-linked lending.

It’s proven very popular, particularly in the midst of the pandemic that saw millions switch jobs as well as neobanks reaching stratospheric growth as account holders searched for cheaper and more flexible banking options. The company saw 11x revenue growth last quarter and claims neobank Current and mobile payment service Square Cash as clients.

That early traction has drawn a new round of capital. Michael Gilroy of Coatue led a $20 million Series A round into the company. (Read more...)

Minu, a Mexico City-based, pay-on-demand startup, lands a $14M Series A

Many of the startups raising capital in Mexico are focused on financial inclusion, aiming to level the playing field in a country that is largely unbanked and has a burgeoning middle class.

One such company, minu, a Mexico City-based, pay-on-demand startup, announced Wednesday that it has raised $14 million in a Series A round of funding led by FinTech Collective.

New investors VEF, XYZ Ventures, and FJ Labs, as well as DocuSign founder Tom Gonser and Gusto CFO Mike Dinsdale also participated in the financing. Existing backers QED, Next Billion Ventures, and Village Global also put more money in the company. 

The financing — which included $2.5 million in debt from Banco Sabadell Mexico — brings minu’s total raised since its 2019 inception to a total of $20 million. 

Co-founders Nima Pourshasb, Rafa Niell, and Paolo Rizzi were driven to build out a pay on demand offering in Mexico.

“We really think the lack of financial health is one of the key drivers slowing the potential and productivity of Mexican society,” Pourshasb said.

Minu aims to solve the employee liquidity gap between paychecks in an effort to help people see reduced financial stress and avoid expensive loans. The company offers 24×7 instant access to employees’ earned wages for a $2 fixed withdrawal fee.

Today, minu has over 100 large enterprise clients including TotalPlay, Telefonica, Scotiabank, OfficeMax, Rappi, Adecco, Manpower, Cap Gemini, and public sector clients such as the (Read more...)