[Funding alert] Hyderabad-based Darwinbox raises Series B investment of $15M led by Sequoia India 

Hyderabad-based HR tech startup Darwinbox has raised Series B funding of $15 million led by Sequoia India. It plans to use the capital to accelerate growth across Asia and focus on product innovation.

Darwinbox, a cloud-based end-to-end HR management startup, on Thursday, announced that it had raised $15 million Series B investment led by Sequoia India. The round also saw participation from existing investors Endiya Partners, Lightspeed India Partners, and 3one4 Capital.

With the freshly raised capital, the Hyderabad-based startup aims to accelerate its growth across Asia and focus on product innovation. The startup’s platform focuses on all HR needs across an employee's lifecycle. 

“Asia HR technology market is estimated to be at $9 billion. Also, the increase in mobile users in the geography meant newer possibilities in the way organisations can engage and empower their employees. Enterprises in Asia are migrating to the cloud at a much faster pace than the entire world and we are excited to lead the charge with cutting edge HR technology that is tailored to the Asian context,” said Rohit Chennamaneni, Co-founder, Darwinbox. 

The Co-founders of Dawinbox: Rohit (left), Jayant, and Chaitanya.

Jayant Paleti, Co-founder of Darwinbox, added,

“Partnering with these investors will help us accelerate our growth across the Asian enterprise market, help maximise the value delivered to our customers, and driver product innovation.” 

Darwinbox operates in the same space as giants like Oracle, Workday, and SAP

Jayant adds that talent is core to the success of any business, and Darwinbox’s mission from the beginning has been to build a human capital management system that places the employee at the centre. The startup also enables organisations to engage, empower and elevate the potential of their workforce.

Harshjit Sethi, Principal, Sequoia Capital India LLP, said, “Recruiting, retaining, and upskilling talent is a top priority of every company today. Darwinbox is the clear emerging leader in the fast growing cloud-based HR management software space in Asia. Sequoia India is thrilled to partner with the team to help them expand aggressively in the coming years.”

Solving the challenges of 'people function'

Darwinbox has been recognised as one of the most preferred HCM solutions in APAC. The platform has over 200 customers and has over 500,000 employees across 50 countries

“Our product focus is on solving the challenges of people function in large and diverse organisations with complex structures using the best of technologies. We will invest heavily in further strengthening our platform, especially our analytical layer with AI and ML capabilities to aid decision making,” said Chaitanya Peddi, Co-founder of Darwinbox, who leads its product development and engineering.

Some of Darwinbox’s clients include Bisleri, Swiggy, Paytm, Dr Reddy’s, Bharti AXA, Adani, and Mahindra Group. The team has focussed on several sectors including retail, technology, BSFI, manufacturing, healthcare, consumer products, and manufacturing. 

Dev Khare, Partner, Lightspeed India Partners, said, “Asia has a unique mix of decades-old conglomerates, new high-growth enterprises, millennial-heavy populations, regional multinationals, and diversity of languages and cultures. Enterprise products in Asia need to be consumer-grade in terms of usability, yet highly configurable for all the heterogeneity in use-cases. Darwinbox understands and delivers on this need better than global providers to lead the market in enterprise-grade human capital management solutions.”

Darwinbox last raised funding in June 2017. Since then, the team claims that its customer base has increased 5X and revenue has grown by 900 percent. The startup acts as a one-stop shop to streamline HR processes and has an evolutionary talent management system catering to every philosophy. Its solutions combine workflows with intelligent insights and smart interfaces. 

Sateesh Andra of Endiya Partners, said, “True to our founding principles at Endiya, Darwinbox had the innovation edge right from the word go. The human resources SaaS market opportunity size in Asia is fairly large and growing at a rapid pace. What powers the future of Darwinbox is the team’s capability to scale and leverage platform play to deliver value-added customer-centric offerings.”

Adding to this, Pranav Pai, of 3One4Capital, said, “Darwinbox’s platform has helped customers and partners establish stronger relationships, deliver clearer communication, and implement efficient decision making across a workforce and ecosystem that is getting more diverse and distributed. We are delighted to continue working with the Darwinbox team as they scale this platform approach to new geographies”.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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