Enterprise

Nigeria’s SeamlessHR raises $10M to expand HR and payroll solutions across Africa

Comment

Image Credits: SeamlessHR

Africa’s appetite for cloud computing software continues to increase as connectivity and bandwidth opportunities push boundaries. Per reports, the continent’s cloud computing industry coupled with the Middle East is expected to grow to $31.4 billion in 2026 from $14.2 billion last year.

SeamlessHR, a Nigeria-based company that wants to help African businesses “leverage the continent’s greatest asset: abundant human capital” with its cloud-based human resources (HR) and payroll software, has raised $10 million in Series A funding for its next phase of growth and regional expansion.

Pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital led the round. New investor Capria Ventures and existing investors Lateral Frontier Ventures, Enza Capital and Ingressive Capital participated.

The company’s eponymous product is a cloud-based, end-to-end HR software that helps businesses manage and streamline their entire human resource processes and workflow.

Its product suite includes an HR management system, performance and competency management, HR analytics, leave management, payroll management and recruitment management.

CEO Emmanuel Okeleji and CTO Deji Lana didn’t build SeamlessHR from the get-go. It was four years after several iterations of Insidify, an aggregator site for job seekers and a review site for companies that they started SeamlessHR in 2018.

“The natural client for our job sites was the HR,” CEO Okeleji told TechCrunch on a call. “So we thought, ‘how can we help HR to become more productive and successful so that they can run a better, more profitable company and hire more people in the process?’”

The founder also said one of the reasons for the pivot from Insidify to SeamlessHR was because the former wasn’t profitable and lacked the flexibility to scale across Africa.

With SeamlessHR, both goals could be accomplished and a year after launching SeamlessHR’s MVP, revenues picked up and was 10 times more than Insidify’s

Initially, the company signed a couple of smaller companies to build its reputation. But over time, it began to focus on bigger clients and signed up a bank as its first main enterprise customer. The company said that its enterprise-grade solution caters to various companies. They range from businesses with 100 employees or fewer to large enterprises with more than 10,000 employees; and from multinationals and banks such as PwC, AXA and Sterling Bank to startups and investment firms like Flutterwave and TGI Group.

Over 100,000 employees from these organizations use SeamlessHR monthly. “We have the largest aggregation of medium-to-very large companies in Africa,” Okeleji remarked.

Four years in, SeamlessHR is now rich with human resources and payroll data after handling salaries for several hundreds of companies. Sitting on top of such data provides leverage to build out more vertical products; for this reason, SeamlessHR will venture into launching embedded finance products for employees.

Here’s how it will work: Say a company is using SeamlessHR for its 5,000 employees; any one of them can tap into the platform’s earned wage access where they can get their salaries up until the point they’ve worked. It’s a typical salary structure in markets such as the U.S. but rarely used in markets like Nigeria.

“In Africa, the innovation that allows people to access credit from their jobs doesn’t happen. And an HR payroll software is well-positioned to lead that innovation because we use finance, technology and HR to help people convert their employment into collateral to access safe credit,” stated the CEO, who believes the company’s cash advances will appeal more to employees than “predatory” loans offered by some lending companies.

Africa’s payroll and HR management market has witnessed the emergence of newer companies such as YC-backed Workpay and Bento. They help businesses with salary disbursement, taxes and pension, carving out a niche for themselves in a market that appears to be dominated by SeamlessHR.

Building an HR solution in Africa requires more workaround than in developed markets, where most small businesses can afford to pay for software. The opportunity in Africa primarily lies with large corporates, not SMEs. They have higher purchasing power and a greater need for HR solutions; they make up the bulk of SeamlessHR’s customers.

SeamlessHR has also eaten into the market share of legacy and “on-premise” systems like SAP and Oracle, commonly used by large companies locally. Companies now know they can do without hiring employees who need certifications to manage software and concentrate on setting and onboarding cloud-based software solutions capable of serving their needs, albeit cheaper. Localization of software also plays a part in SeamlessHR replacing these legacy systems in Nigeria.

TLcom Capital partner Andreata Muforo said of the investment, “The strong execution shown by Emmanuel and his team is a vital ingredient required to build a successful business and as they expand their products to include embedded finance and launch their solutions to new markets, we’re proud to partner alongside them and strengthen their push to unlock more value within Africa’s B2B space.

The company says its new funding will further strengthen its position as “Africa’s leading cloud HR and payroll platform.” Okeleji, who had a brief stint as an investment banker and practised as a doctor, said on the call that SeamlessHR would take its business south of the continent with South Africa as operating hub, thus hiring more staff.

The company currently has a presence in Nigeria and Kenya; it’ll also use the funds to expand further in the East African country and surrounding markets.

Product-wise, SeamlessHR plans to build out its embedded finance offerings and provide additional functionalities, especially around artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning.

Okeleji mentioned that SeamlessHR would move beyond human resources and payroll at some point into other departments that make organizations tick. He also hinted at the possibility of SeamlessHR scaling beyond Africa into other global markets, referencing the recent strides made by India’s Freshworks.

“We are building software solutions to optimize HR now, but in the future, we’ll go to other areas beyond HR. And we are positioned to build a global SaaS company because SaaS products can travel the world faster than, say, fintech. We’re beating global players in our local market and while we are not distracting ourselves now, we know we can play this game globally.”

More TechCrunch

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €284M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back