Australian HR platform Employment Hero hits unicorn status

HR, payroll and benefits platform Employment Hero has reached unicorn valuation of AU$1.25bn after further funding, acquires KeyPay to expand UK footprint

Australia-based HR, payroll and benefits platform Employment Hero is celebrating a double win after new funding and acquisition that further enhances its services and footprint while achieving unicorn status.

Return investor SEEK Investments, OneVentures, AirTree Ventures and other shareholders together provided a further £96 million in the latest funding round, taking Employment Hero’s value to AU$1.25bn (US$900mn).

The support reflects Employment Hero’s strong and sustained revenue growth and prospects and comes after the Sydney-based company acquired workforce management and payroll solution, KeyPay.

KeyPay will remain an independent brand while Employment Hero continues its vision to become a leading Employment-as-a-Service provider. 

With this deal, Employment Hero now has over 12,000 SMEs in the UK, collectively managing over 120,000 employees using its platform.

Employment Hero plans to expand HR services into UK

Founded in 2010, KeyPay is established in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia, which will allow Employment Hero to further accelerate its growth initiatives in these markets. 

Co-founded by CEO Ben Thompson and CTO Dave Tong in 2014, Employment Hero is the world’s leading HR, payroll and benefits platform. The services are used by more than 80,000 businesses, collectively managing over 750,000 employees.

“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,” said Thompson.

“70% of all jobs on earth are provided by SMEs (who represent 99% of all businesses) but most business owners still feel anxious, underqualified and under-resourced as employers.”

With this cash injection, Employment Hero plans to grow exponentially in the UK over the next few years, introducing new service lines and increasing its market share. 

Investor Dr Michelle Deaker of OneVentures feel that Employment Hero still has potential to grow in a lucrative sector.

“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,” said Dr Deaker. “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.” 

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