Zero To Employment Hero: HR Unicorn Raises $167M To Become Australia’s Biggest Export


Australia-based recruitment, HR, and payroll platform, Employment Hero, has successfully raised AUD $263 million ($167 million) in a Series F funding round. With this latest investment, the nine-year-old startup has achieved unicorn status, with a valuation of AUD $2.13 billion ($1.37 billion). The funding round was led by TCV, a leading U.S. investment firm, and included participation from existing investors such as Insight Partners, Seek, AirTree, and OneVentures.

Key Takeaway

Australia-based recruitment and HR platform, Employment Hero, has achieved unicorn status with a valuation of AUD $2.13 billion (

.37 billion) after completing a successful Series F funding round. The company plans to continue its global expansion, with a particular focus on the U.K. market. Employment Hero aims to revolutionize payment experiences by introducing real-time pay through its Swag app.

Aiming to be Australia’s Biggest Technology Export

Employment Hero, founded in 2014, has ambitious plans to become one of Australia’s most successful global startups. CEO Ben Thompson expressed his desire for Employment Hero to be recognized as the “largest startup that’s ever come out of Australia.” The company aims to expand on its current reach, where it already processes $85 billion in wages annually for 300,000 SMEs. Thompson even boldly declared that Employment Hero’s aspirations are bigger than Australian tech giant Atlassian.

Expanding Operations in the U.K.

With the infusion of fresh capital, Employment Hero plans to double its team in the U.K., increasing the headcount to 180 within the next year. The company already serves 20,000 SME customers and pays 200,000 employees monthly in the U.K. Despite being relatively unknown in the U.K. market, Employment Hero sees significant potential for growth and envisions it becoming its biggest market within a couple of years.

From HR and Payroll to a Fully-Autonomous Solution

Employment Hero initially began as an integrated HR and payroll platform. However, over the years, it has expanded its services and now offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help SMEs recruit, manage, and pay their employees. In addition, Employment Hero has ventured into the employer of record (EOR) space through its Global Teams offering. The company assumes legal and administrative responsibilities for companies’ globally distributed workforce, allowing them to focus on core operations.

Swag: Empowering Employees with a “Super App”

One of Employment Hero’s standout offerings is its “super app” called Swag. Swag covers various aspects of an individual’s financial life, both inside and outside of work. It includes a digital wallet, debit card, cashback offers, and online discounts. Swag also functions independently of the core Employment Hero platform, allowing anyone to open a Swag account. The app provides job seekers with the SmartMatch feature, which matches their profiles with job listings on the Employment Hero platform. Employers can also leverage the app to access timesheets, manage leave requests, and communicate company alerts.

Revolutionizing Payment Experiences with Real-Time Pay

Looking to the future, Employment Hero aims to disrupt traditional payment processes by introducing real-time pay. Currently, the platform offers InstaPay, allowing employees to request up to half of their earned wages in advance. However, CEO Ben Thompson envisions a transition to daily pay, which would revolutionize the way people associate work and money. By combining gig work flexibility with the stability of employment, Employment Hero believes its Swag app will transform the global financial system.

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