Darwinbox, one of Asia's fastest-growing HR tech platforms, on Tuesday said it has raised $72 million in a funding round led by US-based investment firm Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV). The latest capital raise catapults Darwinbox, a leading provider of cloud-based human resources management software (HRMS), into the coveted unicorn club with a valuation in excess of $1 billion.
The new funding, which comes exactly a year after it raised $15 million in an investment round led by Salesforce Ventures, will help Darwinbox drive its global expansion, accelerate platform innovation and ramp up its product, engineering, and customer-success teams as it seeks to boost its presence in South Asia, Southeast Asia, as well as Middle East and North Africa. So far, the company has raised more than $110 million, and counts Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, and Endiya Partners among its investors, which also participated in the latest funding round.
“This investment energizes our mission to continue building technology that enables organizations to unlock the highest potential of their people," said Jayant Paleti, co-founder, Darwinbox, in a statement. "We have done this by building a product that puts employees squarely at the center and crafting meaningful experiences for them. This has especially found resonance in this rapidly evolving world of work over the last 2 years with companies having to rethink how they attract, manage and retain their talent.”
The company aims to double its overall headcount, from slightly over 700 currently, as it prepares to launch in the US this year. With its global headquarters in Singapore, Darwinbox plans to triple its employee strength in Southeast Asia this year by adding more than 100 team members across Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok offices.
"We get most excited investing behind visionary founders that are fundamentally transforming large industries with a highly resonant product,” said Gopi Vaddi, General Partner, TCV. “I am delighted to back an outstanding team that is doing exactly that in a highly impactful, fast-evolving HR technology space and partner with them on their journey to global HCM leadership.”
TCV, set up in 1995, is known for its investments in disruptive enterprises such as Netflix, Facebook, Spotify, Airbnb, and GoDaddy.
The process of digital transformation has been accelerated by the pandemic, and the company sees rapid growth this year amid heightened demand for digital tools in the workplace.
Chaitanya Peddi, co-founder and product head, Darwinbox, said the company would continue to invest in new and innovative technology to deliver a frictionless experience for the work-from-anywhere workforce.
“In addition, this year, we will be bolstering our platform offering with a host of ancillary services and solutions that enterprises can plug and play to compose an integrated HR tech ecosystem,” he added.
Darwinbox, founded in 2015 in Hyderabad, is sensing opportunities in Southeast Asia, and looking to challenge the dominance of global human capital management (HCM) giants such as Oracle, SAP, and Workday. Paleti is now based out of Singapore, and the company is making key leadership additions there. Last year, Darwinbox appointed Shaswat Kumar as Senior Vice-president of Global Customer Success and Delivery, and Juancho Jerusalem as Vice-president and Head of APJ Expansion, who is leading the company’s inroads into ASEAN, ANZ and Japan.
In October last year, Darwinbox was named to Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Cloud HCM Suites 2021, making it the youngest and only Asian firm on the list.
Darwinbox’s cloud-based HCM platform caters to HR needs across the entire employee lifecycle. Their new-age product is powering digital HR for more than 1.5 million employees from over 650 enterprises across the globe.