Australia’s first 2017 big capital raise announcement comes this week. Sydney-based global workforce management software firm Deputy, has announced raising of $US25 million ($33.3m) in a Series A round.
Founded by Steve Shelley and Ashik Ahmed eight years ago, Deputy looks to help businesses with staff paid by the hour save time by simplifying tasks including scheduling, time-sheets, tasking, employee time tracking, performance management, and communication.
Deputy boasts of a 28,000-strong customer base, with the likes of Amazon, Qantas, and NASA. This is the first time in its eight year history that the startup has obtained external funding.
Though it has customers in over 70 countries, the bulk of Deputy’s growth is coming from the US, where a 2012 Labor Department report found three in five workers are paid on an hourly basis. As such, the funding will be focused on further expanding Deputy’s reach in the US, as well as the development of new features.
The round, led by Boston-based expansion stage venture capital firm OpenView, will be used to scale Deputy’s team in its Sydney, US, UK and Philippines offices.
OpenView managing partner Daniel Demmer will also join the board.
For OpenView, a firm focused on investing in and working with expansion-stage software companies targeting the North American market, the investment in Deputy is the single largest it has made.
“Our investment in Deputy marks the largest single investment OpenView has made in our decade-plus history,” Demmer said in a statement.
“Co-founders Steve Shelley and Ashik Ahmed and the Deputy team have built a truly extraordinary platform that automates a broken and manual workflow for hundreds of thousands of users around the world. We’re looking forward to working with the team and realizing Deputy’s further growth potential in the coming years.”
Speaking on expansion plans, Shelley comments: “We decided that, between the appetite for a business of our potential, the fact that US investors probably understand our space better than local ones, and our expansion being focused on the US, we should look offshore.”
Though the co-founders said they were approached by 10 VCs for each one they approached, the decision to go with OpenView came easy.
“I feel it was a complete cultural fit; from the style of their team to the fact they focus so heavily on expansion and offer an expansion team, their personality and understanding of our culture, and more importantly the understanding of our product and the market fit…it was almost like they had been a part of our business from the very start,” Shelley said.
As well as expanding its Sydney and US offices, Deputy will be growing its teams in the UK and the Philippines to further its reach across Asia and Europe.