Nigerian startup firm, SeamlessHR, raises $10M in new series A funding

SeamlessHR, a Nigerian startup firm that offers cloud-based human resources (HR) and payroll software-as-a-service (SaaS) to medium and large businesses in numerous African nations, announced on the 12th of January 2021 that it has raised $10 million in a new Series A round to fund its next phase of growth and regional expansion. The company  says it aims to assist African businesses “utilize the continent’s biggest asset, which is its tremendous human capital.”

The financing was led by TLcom Capital, a pan-African venture capital firm. Capria Ventures, a new investor, joined existing investors Lateral Frontier Ventures and Enza Capital. Ingressive Capital and several strategic private investors are among the other investors in this round. After earlier raising $2.2 million in initial financing in October of 2020, the firm now has a total investment of $12.2 million.

“The strong execution shown by Emmanuel and his team is a vital ingredient required to build a successful business,” TLcom Capital partner Andreata Muforo said of the investment. “As they broaden their product lines to include embedded finance and launch their solutions to new markets, we’re proud to partner alongside them and strengthen their push to unlock more value within Africa’s B2B space, we’re proud to partner alongside them and strengthen their push to unlock more value within Africa’s B2B space,” she added.

The company’s ‘nom de guerre’ solution is a cloud-based, end-to-end software that assists firms in managing and streamlining their whole human resource (HR) procedures and workflow. An HR management system, performance and competence management, HR analytics, leave management, payroll administration, and recruitment management are all part of the company’s product range.

SeamlessHR made it known in a private discussion with the media that it intends to use the funding to expand its 130-strong workforce as it pursues a pan-African expansion, with new offices in South Africa and Kenya being considered. In addition to a new embedded financial product that is now being piloted, the company wants to add additional product functionalities around artificial intelligence and HR data analytics.

Remember that during the company’s end-of-year celebration in December 2021, it announced plans to strengthen its product offers and services, as well as intentions to extend its operations in other countries, invest in artificial intelligence, and add new modules to its software business the following year (2022).

Insidify.com, a jobs aggregator with a recruitment management system that pairs companies to job searchers was how SeamlessHR started out in 2013. That is, until co-founders Emmanuel Okeleji and Deji Lana realized that job-seeking websites actually “do little to address the basic reasons of unemployment in Africa,” as they put it. One of the reasons for the switch from Insidify to SeamlessHR, according to the founder, was that the former was not profitable and lacked the flexibility to scale across Africa.

The HR department was the logical client for our job sites,” CEO Okeleji told the press. “So we wondered, ‘How can we assist HR in becoming more productive and successful so that they can operate a better, more profitable firm while also hiring more people?’

To build its brand, the firm initially signed a couple of smaller enterprises. However, as time went on, it began to focus on larger clients, and its first major business customer was a bank. The company claims that its enterprise-grade solution is suitable for a wide range of businesses. They range in size from small organizations with fewer than 100 people to huge corporations with more than 10,000 employees, as well as multinationals and banks like PwC, AXA, and Sterling Bank, as well as startups and investment firms like Flutterwave and TGI Group.

“We have become the leading cloud HR and Payroll SaaS in Africa in such a short time thanks to our customers,” CEO Okeleji remarked. “In the countries where we’re concentrated, we currently serve most of the medium to large-sized businesses [including ten Nigerian banks and five insurance companies], with Nigeria being our focus market.”

After managing wages for hundreds of firms, SeamlessHR has amassed a plethora of human resources and payroll data. This provides them with the ability to roll even more vertical goods, and as a result, the company plans to introduce embedded banking products for the staff. This works by letting anybody who works in a SeamlessHR-enabled organization, regardless of the number of employees, use the platform’s earned pay to access, which allows them to obtain their salaries up to the point they’ve worked. It’s a common compensation structure in places like the United States, but it’s quite uncommon in Nigeria.

“Innovation that permits people to get credit from their jobs does not happen in Africa.” And HR payroll software is well-positioned to lead that innovation because “we use finance, technology, and HR to help people convert their employment into collateral to access safe credit,” according to the CEO, who believes the company’s cash advances will appeal to employees more than “predatory” loans offered by some lenders.

SeamlessHR, according to Okeleji, will eventually expand beyond human resources and payroll into other areas that keep businesses running. He also alluded to the likelihood of SeamlessHR expanding outside Africa into other global markets, using India’s Freshworks as an example. 

“Right now, we’re developing software to optimize HR, but in the future, we’ll expand to other areas.” And we’re in a good position to become a worldwide SaaS business because SaaS goods can span the globe faster than, say, fintech. We’re beating multinational competitors in our local market, and we know we can play this game globally.”

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