An Aussie’s Quest Crafting The UK’s Premier All-in-One App

When it comes to Australian and New Zealand startups making waves in Europe, only a select few can boast of such accomplishments. Think Atlassian, Canva, and Xero. With their combined worth soaring into the billions, they epitomize the “go big or head back Down Under” mantra.

Enter Ben Thompson, the dynamic cofounder of Australia’s Employment Hero. Riding the waves of their €108m funding in 2022 and €83m in 2021, with notable backers like Insight Partners and Salesforce Ventures, the recent announcement of a €158m Series F only amplifies their momentum, skyrocketing their valuation to €1.2bn.

A Leap Across the Pond Having successfully debuted in diverse markets like New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore, Employment Hero turned its gaze towards the UK. With ambitions of expanding its London team to 180 and fortifying its robust 20k SME clientele, the UK isn’t just a market – it’s the projected crown jewel within three years.

For Thompson, it’s also a nostalgic return. “Those three enriching years I spent in London from 1999 to 2003? Absolute love. The vibe, the economy, the people – it felt like home,” he reminisces.

While the UK isn’t short of HR tech platforms, Thompson envisions more than just a personnel management tool. By mastering payroll nuances, Employment Hero introduces flexibility in payment cycles. Want to get paid after working eight days? Or prefer daily payouts over monthly ones? They make it happen.

Thompson elaborates, “Imagine transitioning from monthly payments to daily payouts. If you’re the payment pivot, it’s a monumental shift in finance dynamics. And there’s immense value in that.”

Beyond Traditional Boundaries While real-time payments aren’t unique to Europe, Employment Hero ups the ante with Instapay. This in-house payment solution arms users with a digital Visa debit card and a built-in spending account in their ‘Swag’ app. Though there’s a nominal fee, Thompson is quick to clarify, “It’s not a debt trap. Users aren’t racking up interest or penalties. It’s empowering.”

Down Under, leveraging its vast employee database has enabled the company to bargain for better deals, like optimized energy rates, with deductions made directly from salaries. In the UK, collaborations with financial entities like Weavr have been set in motion, with an anticipation of nods from regulatory bodies like HMRC and the FCA.

Expanding its horizons, Employment Hero aims to roll out a recruitment portal powered by AI for seamless job matches. Thompson envisions a holistic ecosystem: “Find a job, get onboarded, receive your pay, and then spend it – all under one umbrella.”

More Than Just an App? It’s evident Thompson envisions Employment Hero evolving into the UK’s foremost all-encompassing app. “Swag isn’t just an app; it’s an entire experience. From job search and management to payments and savings, it’s an integrated solution.”

Such lofty ambitions might raise eyebrows. Even Muz Ashraf, a general partner at TCV (a Series F investor), treads cautiously around labeling it a “super app”. He reflects, “While I see it as an all-encompassing employment tool, to call it a super app might be stretching it.”

Whatever the terminology, there’s no denying Employment Hero’s ambitious trajectory in the European market. Only time will reveal if it becomes the all-in-one solution Thompson envisions or remains an advanced employment tool.