Omni wants to be the HR platform that can do them all – or at least all HR-related tasks. The software enables HR teams to digitize employee files, automate administrative tasks such as employee onboarding and time off management, and integrate employee data from different systems. The Singapore-based company is currently active there and Indonesia and plans to roll out to other Southeast Asian markets after localization for labor regulations.
The startup announced today that it has raised $2.4 million in an oversubscribed pre-seed round co-led by Alpha JWC Ventures and Picus Capital with participation from FEBE Ventures, Basis Set Ventures, Ratio Ventures and Frances Kang von Horizons Ventures coming out of stealth mode. It also included investments from angel investors, including former executives at US HR software companies Namely and Ultimate Software.
Omni HR had its soft launch in March 2022 and is already being used by several companies, including the Indonesian investment app Ajaib. The funding will be used to add more features to Omni, including a recruiting module by Q3 and a performance enhancement module by the end of the year.
The company was founded in 2021 by Brian Ip, a former Goldman Sachs executive, and data engineer YC Chan. Ip told TechCrunch that he previously worked in software investing at the Goldman Sachs Growth Fund and looked at many HR tech deals, which was the first time he and Chan learned about the industry.
“Through research and talking to end users, we realized that HR software is a category that requires so much localization and that there is no successful product for Southeast Asia yet,” said Ip, adding that most local solutions were limited address functions. like payslip.
But most of the HR teams that Chan and Ip spoke to wanted an all-in-one solution. Many still used spreadsheets or simple payroll software. Examples of work they did manually that Omni can automate include onboarding new employees, hiring employees, performance reviews, collecting documents like employee ID cards, and creating HR reports for internal management.
“From a strategic perspective, we think this startup opportunity makes it even more interesting because we don’t think of HR software as an isolated tool used only by HR,” said Chan. “Instead, we see it as a ‘recording system’ for employee information.”
Almost any application or business function within an organization, including software, devices, office management, and finance, can be connected to Omni, making it a software infrastructure layer.
In terms of competition, Chan sees two categories: local payroll software and imported software from overseas. He added that this disadvantage of payroll software is that it only offers basic management functions around payroll and is not scalable. They also lack performance appraisal, recruiting, onboarding, and employee document management features.
Imported HR software, on the other hand, isn’t localized, which means they lack features like payroll modules for Southeast Asian countries, local customer support, and “sometimes even modules like absence tracking or attendance management that aren’t flexible enough to accommodate policies are missing in a market,” said Ip.
He added lapping and other top US HR platforms like gusto and Namely are currently not available outside of the United States. “We believe that even if they eventually expand internationally, the localization requirements and geographic focus will allow us to build a strong moat.”
Localization for each market can be quite complicated. HR managers in different countries need to collect different employee information. In Singapore, for example, employees provide their children’s birth certificates so companies can use them to claim government reimbursements if they take childcare leave. On the other hand, companies in Indonesia collect several types of ID information, including KTD (Resident’s Card), KK (Family Card), and NPWP (Tax ID).
Each country also has different workflows. In Singapore, Ip said, the probationary period of permanent employees can be “extended,” but in Indonesia, only a maximum of three months is allowed and it cannot be extended or renewed.
Payroll accounting also differs from country to country and includes factors such as taxes, pensions and other statutory withholding taxes. The leisure regulations are also different. For recruitment, Omni can localize by connecting to local job boards rather than US-centric ones.
Singapore and Indonesia were chosen as Omni’s first markets because the startup’s initial customer segment is companies in technology and tech-related industries, particularly other VC-backed companies, Ip said. He added that “Singapore may be the most mature market in Southeast Asia in terms of software/cloud adoption and willingness to spend. Indonesia is one of the largest and fastest growing market opportunities in Southeast Asia.”
HR automation platform Omni wants to be the ‘Rippling of Southeast Asia’ – TechCrunch Source link HR automation platform Omni wants to be the ‘Rippling of Southeast Asia’ – TechCrunch