Portal, an HR tech startup that helps distributed companies streamline international payouts and compliance for their remote workforce, has raised $350K (approx €296K) in a fresh round of funding.
The round was led by Adriaan Kolff. Investors that participated in the round also include serial HR entrepreneur Maarten van der Kwaak, Usabilla founder Paul Veugen and one of the Netherlands’ successful angel investors Marijn Pijnenborg.
The raised capital will help accelerate Portal’s post MVP product development as well as support its aggressive growth strategy.
Portal is also a distributed company with its team, advisors, and investors, spread over 10 different countries. As claimed by the company, the fundraising process was done completely remotely, and zero offline meetings took place.
Survey by the Boundary Validation Program (BVP) in 2020
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as per the company, remote work grew 156% in the last 5 years. This accelerated its adoption to almost 10 times in just several months. However, 90% of companies surveyed by the Boundary Validation Program (BVP) in 2020 think, today’s HR & payroll tools focused on a globally distributed workforce are insufficient.
Hiring in multiple jurisdictions and tightening regulations around the world is rapidly increasing the complexity and amount of admin work companies need to deal with. Also, remote companies are under pressure to create a great experience for their teams working remotely – leaving very little room for admin and compliance work.
How does Portal help businesses?
Portal was founded in September this year by Andrew Bondarenko. The startup helps distributed companies streamline admin work, run international payouts, and reduce legal risks associated with distributed operations.
According to the company, within several months over 100 companies signed up for the Portal Beta waitlist. Since the MVP release in late September Portal is already running pilots with the first batch of early customers, with the plans to make it available for more companies soon.
When any company’s existing workforce is moved to Portal, a centralised source of information is created that provides fully automated payouts and multiple other recurring processes to help save time. Portal’s open API allows businesses to connect multiple HR tech services and use Portal Employee ID to provide access to such tools or services. Companies can add insurance, gym membership, or even a coworking pass for their employees.
According to the company, both companies and talent on Portal go through vetting & verification process to make sure we create a safe and predictable ecosystem for everyone.
“While building remote engineering teams at Global Talent and leading its operations on the scale of hundreds of people, I realised how little tools there are to help run and scale admin and compliance for distributed set-up. We looked at what “remote veterans” do and realised they use workarounds and manual labour to deal with this complexity and also spending massive amounts on legal,” says Bondarenko, CEO, and founder of Portal.
“After over 100 companies signed-up for our beta, we started to hear how desperate and stressed some of them are, it became clear we were on the right path,” he further adds.
Besides, the Portal Pro upgrade gives a compliance superpower and works like ‘having a local legal expert’ in each country where the company is present, at a 1/10th of the cost.
“This shift to more complex organisations operating in a more hostile and admin-heavy regulatory environment is something beyond just a temporary work from home (WFH) arrangement. Companies of the future are distributed and hiring internationally and we want to be an ultimate People Ops platform for them, helping automate all admin possible and free-up more time for meaningful, creative work. There is so much to be done here and we are just getting started!” says Bondarenko.
Image credit: Portal