This Nigerian HR tech startup is like Workday for emerging markets

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Nigerian startup SeamlessHR describes itself as “Workday for emerging markets”, bringing cutting edge human resources (HR) systems to customers at home and in Ghana.

Formed in 2017 after the founders pivoted from a jobs platform, SeamlessHR helps businesses optimise the productivity of their people via cutting edge HR technology solutions that cover the entire value chain, from recruitment to retirement.

The startup has a growing list of customers across multiple sectors, including one of the leading banks in Nigeria, which recently deployed its suite of solutions to manage its more than 8,000 employees, and last month raised a pre-seed funding round to double down on expansion.

Chief marketing officer (CMO) Seye Bandele told Disrupt Africa SeamlessHR had spotted a key gap and filled it with its high value offering – modern HR software that actually works for emerging market customers, seamlessly handles all HR needs within one solution, and is affordable and easy to set up.

“There is arguably no other company besides us that meets this description on the continent today,” he said.

Bootstrapped initially, SeamlessHR has exceeded even its own expectations, however.

“Customers love our product,” Bandele said. “We have won 100 per cent of all the leads that have gone on to purchase an HR Software in any bid in which we have been in consideration. What this means is that 100 per cent of the places we go to, if they are going to make the purchase decision, they go with us, and we are now having to aggressively increase capacity to meet up with demand.”

Hence the funding, a pre-seed round in preparation for a bigger funding tranche which should be in the bank by the end of the year. Investor Tofino Capital brings more than just money to the table, though.

“They have the same pan-African and pan-emerging markets vision and passion that we have, and in addition, they have a very rich network of valuable contacts across the continent. A strategic alliance with them, albeit sealed with a small investment, makes sense for us at this point as we begin our coordinated expansion drive across Africa,” said Bandele.

SeamlessHR was profitable even prior to the funding, however.  The startup runs a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, making money from recurring subscriptions, and was profitable within its first year. Bandele said revenues are growing fast.

“As of the end of the first quarter of 2019, we have equalled what we did in the whole of 2018. Our numbers are very strong, and we are unrelenting about aggressive growth,” he said.

This growth will take SeamlessHR into a host of other Anglophone African countries over the next few months, and it does not plan to stop there.

“We will be in six countries by the end of this year and plan to triple that in 2020, and add on the Francophone and Lusophone elements,” said Bandele.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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