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Employment Hero adds AirTree to its list of VCs and raises $3m Series A round to $4.5m


Employment Hero, Australia’s first and leading cloud-based freemium HR, payroll and employee benefits platform, has today announced it has extended its over-subscribed $3 million capital raise by 50 per cent, bringing the startup’s total funding to $4.5 million with additional investment from new and existing investors.

In a transaction led by OneVentures, the three-year-old start-up has attracted new investment from Australia’s largest tech venture capital fund, AirTree Ventures, as well as additional capital from the initial Series A investors OneVentures and AMP New Ventures.

Employment Hero, which is on track to exceed 100,000 active users by 2017, will use the additional capital to further its growth in the HR, payroll and financial services market, offer more features and capabilities to new and existing users and further expand its partnership distribution network to Australia’s largest institutions.

What does this mean for Employment Hero?

Ben Thompson, CEO and founder of Employment Hero said the additional funding serves as validation for the company’s proposition to Australian businesses, who have embraced the solution, demonstrated by the Company’s rapid growth.

“We’ve made significant progress in a relatively short amount of time. Our subscriber base grew over 300% in the first nine months of 2016 and we’re continuing to develop our offering to provide Australian employers and employees with a raft of benefits. This investment substantiates our success to date and will allow us to build upon it,” said Thompson.

“A LinkedIn research report last week listed ‘HR benefits and compensation’ as the fourth most sought-after job skill in Australia. We are in a great place to help all employers in Australia achieve this.

“We’re very fortunate that our institutional investors includes some of the most respected and successful in the world. We’re proud to be recognised as a high calibre and innovative startup that our investors see potential in,” he said.

“​By increasing the size of our Series A round we gave ourselves more time to focus on executing bigger plans to further innovate the HR and financial services market in the next 12-18 months before looking at a Series B.

“We’re proud to welcome AirTree Ventures to our family. They have an impressive portfolio of investments and a wealth of knowledge that we will leverage to support our growth strategy and help our users’ salary go further.”

John Henderson
John Henderson

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Ben and the Employment Hero team.  Businesses are crying out for a smooth and painless HR, payroll and benefits platform and we think Employment Hero has the right product to solve this problem.  It’s a win for employees and employers alike”, commented John Henderson, Partner at Airtree Ventures.

“Including Airtree Ventures in the Series A syndicate alongside OneVentures and AMP New Ventures ensures that the company is both well capitalised now and has access to significant reserves of capital around the board room table to aggressively drive the business forward into the future”, said Dr Michelle Deaker, Director of Employment Hero and Managing Partner of OneVentures.

Dr Michelle Deaker
Dr Michelle Deaker

Why has it attracted this funding?

From within their home market, Employment Hero views Australia as just one of many global HR, payroll and financial services markets prime for disruption. The company intends to bring innovation to the sector, which presents lucrative market opportunities such as its $2.1 trillion superannuation market, via its world-first technology. The start-up believes technology will extend the concept of financial wellness to all employees and help them to take more control of their finances.

A former lawyer, Ben Thompsons’s career began in finance, working as an in-house counsel for Sydney Futures Exchange. His career led him to move to the UK during the dot.com boom, where he realised his true passion: combining business and technology to create innovative new companies.

After being involved in helping several start-ups with their Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), Ben decided to return to Australia and establish a business that would become a HR-based, one-stop-shop for employers and employees. Today, Ben’s business interests include Employment Hero, Employment Innovations, Power2Motivate, Global Reward Solutions and Keypay.

Founded in 2014, Employment Hero’s HR, payroll and employee benefits platform removes the pain points for businesses managing their employees taking care of on-boarding, employment contracts, rostering and timesheets, superannuation provisioning along with accounting integrations.

By leveraging the purchase power of Employment Hero’s customer base, employers now have the opportunity to offer additional financial benefits to their employees to help them extend their salaries further. Employment Hero offers special and personalised deals from over 50 partnerships in health insurance, home loans, car leasing, mobile phone plans, discounted utilities, etc. to any business and respective employee using the platform.

It not only benefits employers; the platform’s built-in employee benefits program, makes it simple and cost-effective for employers of all sizes to offer and administer a range of employee benefits typically associated with big employers. Employees can access a marketplace, providing hundreds of deals ranging from mortgage refinancing, health and insurance services, mobile phone plans, gym membership discounts, utility discounts and much more through the company’s extensive corporate partnerships.

Employment Hero has been placed in the top 10 of BRW Australia’s Most Innovative Companies 2015 and was accredited a best employer in Aon Hewitt Best Employers in 2013.