Employment Hero gains unicorn status with new funding, buys KeyPay

Ben Thompson, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Employment Hero

All-in-one HR, payroll and benefits platform, Employment Hero, today announced it has closed a $181 million funding round, led by return investor SEEK Investments with participation from OneVentures, AirTree Ventures and other shareholders.

The support from investors at the ‘unicorn’ mark reflects Employment Hero’s strong and sustained revenue growth and prospects. This news comes on the heels of Employment Hero’s acquisition of workforce management and payroll solution, KeyPay.

Employment Hero acquisition to remain independent

KeyPay will remain an independent brand and receive ongoing investment, as Employment Hero pushes to execute on its vision to become a leading Employment as a Service provider.

KeyPay will still serve the broader industry, as Employment Hero commits to powering its purpose through all channels; whether directly through its platform or via a myriad of partners, from other HR providers to accountants in public practice to financial institutions.

With the acquisition, Employment Hero now has over 80,000 SMEs, collectively managing over 750,000 employees using its platform, and boasts a team of over 500 FTEs globally.

Founded in 2010 by Phil Bernie, Richard McLean, Paul Duran and Kristian Reynolds, KeyPay has a well-established footprint across ANZ, Singapore, Malaysia 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 CEO of Employment Hero, Ben Thompson, saw KeyPay’s potential from its inception, acting as an exclusive seed investor in 2012.

Employment Hero and KeyPay, a winning duo

In combination with KeyPay, Employment Hero offers a leading suite of total employment management solutions on 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 help SMEs grow their engagement.

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

Ben Thompson, Co-founder and CEO at Employment Hero, said: “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% of all jobs 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.”

Phil Bernie, Managing Director at KeyPay, said: “We’re excited to become part of the Employment Hero team whilst maintaining our independence as a brand.”

“It opens up opportunities for KeyPay’s staff, clients and partners by adding greater capability and capacity. Joining a company that is aligned on culture, core values and a drive to deliver the best client experience is motivating way to kick-start KeyPay’s next chapter.”

Employment Hero Investor testimonials

Andrew Bassat, SEEK Investments said, “We are 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.”

Dr Michelle Deaker, Managing Director and Founding Partner of OneVentures said, “As the first lead investor into Employment Hero back in 2016, we 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.”

John Henderson, General Partner at AirTree”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. 80k SMEs now have access to an enterprise grade HR solution.

“With Ben and the team’s execution, I expect that number will be much larger in short order.”

About Employment Hero

Co-founded by Ben Thompson, CEO, and Dave Tong, CTO, in 2014, Employment Hero is the smarter way to manage people, payroll and productivity for SMEs with big ambitions.

Employment Hero is the world’s leading HR, payroll and benefits platform. The award-winning software helps launch businesses to success by powering more productivity every day.

Employment Hero services over 80,000 businesses, collectively managing over 750,000 employees. Its core platform reduces admin time by up to 80 per cent.

Employment Hero is launching employers toward their goals, powering more productive teams and taking employment to rewarding new heights. Visit employmenthero.com