Australia-based all-in-one human resource (HR), payroll and benefits platform Employment Hero announced Thursday it has closed a $130 million funding round, led by return investor SEEK Investments with participation from OneVentures, AirTree Ventures and other shareholders.

The support from investors has helped Employment Hero reach a valuation of A$1.25 billion ($900 million) valuation, and reflects the business’s strong and sustained revenue growth and prospects, Employment Hero said in a statement.

This news also comes on the heels of Employment Hero’s acquisition of workforce management and payroll solution, KeyPay.

KeyPay will be retained as an independent brand and receive ongoing investment to grow its team, as Employment Hero continues to execute on its vision to become a leading Employment as a service provider. Buoyed by the acquisition, KeyPay will still serve the broader industry and its partners, as Employment Hero commits to powering its purpose through all channels; whether directly through its platform or via a myriad of different partners, from other HR providers to accountants in public practice to financial institutions.

With the acquisition, Employment Hero now has over 80,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), collectively managing over 750,000 employees using its platform, and boasts a team of over 500 full time equivalents (FTEs) globally.

Founded in 2010 by Phil Bernie, Richard McLean, Paul Duran and Kristian Reynolds, KeyPay has a well-established footprint across Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, which will allow Employment Hero to further accelerate its growth initiatives in these markets and deliver on its purpose “to make employment easier and more valuable, for everyone.”

Co-Founders Phil Bernie and Paul Duran will stay on at KeyPay as Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, respectively. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Employment Hero, Ben Thompson, saw KeyPay’s potential from its inception, acting as an exclusive seed investor in 2012.

Together with KeyPay, Employment Hero now offers a leading suite of total employment management solutions that covers four key pillars: Talent Solutions; Core HR; Payroll; eBenefits. This comprehensive solution suite will offer SMEs and their employees a seamless employment management experience and specifically help SMEs grow their engagement and work relationships with employees.

With its new cash injection, Employment Hero’s primary objective for 2022 is to bring its groundbreaking pillars together in ways that will completely transform what businesses and their employees can expect from employment.

“Our latest valuation is recognition of all the hard work everyone has contributed to building a great company and a testament to our mission of creating as many quality employment opportunities as possible. 70 per cent of all jobs on earth are provided by SMEs (who represent 99 per cent of all businesses) but most business owners still feel anxious, under qualified and under-resourced as employers. Employment Hero’s four pillars allow us to deliver a complete employment platform and service that people can use to find work, manage work, get paid, spend and save,

“This, combined with KeyPay joining the Employment Hero family, will set a new bar for what people expect from employment. It’s incredibly exciting and we have a lot of work ahead to continue to make employment easier and more valuable, for everyone,” said Ben Thompson, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Employment Hero.

Co-founded by Ben Thompson, and Dave Tong, Chief Technology Officer of Employment Hero, in 2014, Employment Hero is a platform to manage people, payroll and productivity for SMEs with big ambitions.

“We’re excited to become part of the Employment Hero team whilst maintaining our independence as a brand. It opens up incredible opportunities for KeyPay’s staff, customers and partners by adding greater capability and capacity to all areas of the business. Joining a company that is aligned on culture, core values and a drive to deliver the best customer experience is an extremely motivating way to kick-start KeyPay’s next chapter,” said Phil Bernie, Managing Director at KeyPay.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bassat from SEEK Investments said the fund is delighted to lead the investment in Employment Hero.

“The business has performed exceptionally well over a sustained period. Employment Hero is still early in their growth journey with enormous opportunities to pursue and the addition of KeyPay expands the potential significantly,” he said.

Michelle Deaker from OneVentures also said, as the first lead investor into Employment Hero back in 2016, he believed in the thematic foundations of the business as well as Ben’s depth of experience in HR services and business leadership.

“His ability to build great teams along with his vision to change the world of work was fundamental to our investment decision and we are delighted to see the business go from strength to strength – to what is shaping up to be a $100-billion-dollar market opportunity,” he said.

John Henderson from AirTree, on the other hand, said that the acquisition of a leading payroll provider is a strategic no-brainer for Employment Hero and will see it deliver an even more seamless product experience.

“80,000 SMEs now have access to an enterprise grade HR solution. With Ben and the team’s relentless execution, I expect that number will be much larger in short order,” he said.

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