Cloud technology

Sequoia invests in Indian HR management startup

American venture capital firm leads Darwinbox's $15 million funding.

Darwinbox, an Indian cloud-based human resources management startup, has raised $15 million in its series B round of funding led by Sequoia Capital.

The four-year-old startup said existing investors Endiya Partners, Lightspeed India Partners and 3one4 Capital also committed in the latest funding round. Announced on Thursday, it came about two years after the company raised $4 million in June 2017.

Founded in August 2015, Darwinbox operates a cloud-based platform that allows employers to handle all HR needs from payments and cash reimbursements to attendance and performance records. The company has over 200 clients, including well-known Indian companies like Mahindra, Kotak and Paytm.

“[The] Asian HR technology market is estimated to be at $9 billion. Also, the increase in mobile users in the geography meant newer possibilities in the way organisations can engage and empower their employees,” Darwinbox co-founder Rohit Chennamaneni said in a statement.

“Enterprises in Asia are migrating to the cloud at a much faster pace than the entire world and we are excited to lead the charge with cutting edge HR technology that is tailored to the Asian context,” Chennamaneni said. 

With the new capital, the Indian startup aims to accelerate its growth across Asia and focus on product innovation. It is counting on prominent investors like Sequoia to potentially expand its services outside India.

“Partnering with marquee investors will accelerate our penetration into the Asian Enterprise market, drive product innovation and maximise the value delivered to customers,” Darwinbox co-foudner Jayant Paleti said.

In a blog at the start of the year, Asian recruitment firm Links International, outlined some of the tech-driven new trends to look out for in HR, thanks in the main to the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

These include personalisation, from onboarding to learning and development, and better employee engagement. Link cited global survey data that showed employee trust in their managers at relatively lower levels in Asian countries, particularly China and Japan.

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