BetterPlace acquires MyRobin, enters Southeast Asia market
While the terms of current transaction were not disclosed, Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder and Group CEO of BetterPlace, told YourStory that it is one of its largest deals in Indonesia from a startup point of view.
Frontline workforce management platformhas picked up a majority stake in Indonesia-based blue-collar workforce fulfilment platform MyRobin in a cash-and stock-deal, marking the former’s entry into the Southeast Asia (SEA) market.
The terms of the current transaction, including the deal size, were not disclosed. However, Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder and Group CEO of BetterPlace, told YourStory that it is perhaps one of its largest deals till date and one of the largest deals in Indonesia from a startup point of view.
“With our technology and MyRobin’s expertise in operating in Indonesia, we would be able to introduce equitable opportunities for the frontline segment,” Pravin said.
Launched in 2020 in Indonesia, MyRobin is a workforce-as-a-services platform that provides enterprises with on-demand, pre-screened, blue-collar workers. It also provides solutions for businesses with recruitment, documentation, attendance, performance, and workers' payments all processed on the platform. And for workers, it provides an online job portal, financial services, and training.
“As the next chapter of our growth, we would like to take our vision and expertise to more geographies and BetterPlace is the perfect partner who will enable us to achieve this goal,” said Ardy Satria Hasanuddin, Co-founder and CTO of MyRobin.
“We will add one country every quarter for the next four quarters,” Pravin said in an interview with YourStory, adding that it plans to expand to Malaysia in March and Thailand in the following quarter.
With close to 200 million frontline workers in SEA, the market size for frontline workforce management in the region is as large as $280 billion, according to BetterPlace, making it the ideal market for a horizontal software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.
Betterplace's vision for the future
The company’s first milestone is to get into Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Singapore–where it has created a Global Center for Southeast Asia, Pravin noted. He added that the Middle East, including UAE, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, and then “going into the entire Gulf Cooperation Council becomes a fantastic opportunity” for the company.
According to Pravin, MyRobin brings a good mix of team, customers, and technology to the table, and the product that it has developed–MyRobin Mitra–is something that BetterPlace will take into other regions.
With this acquisition, the company’s team will grow to more than 1,000 people, and by the end of this year, its workforce will expand by about 50% as it plans to hire across India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, Pravin said.
The firm is also looking at a couple of more acquisitions in certain product areas in India and outside as well, and it is doubling down on its investment in R&D for future growth, adds Pravin.
In December, the Bengaluru-headquartered firm raised $40 million as part of its extended Series C round, which resulted in international investor Macquarie Capital joining the captable, along with Jungle Ventures, Unitus, BII, Capria and 3one4 Capital. It has raised more than 65 million in the last 12 months.
Talking about fundraising, Pravin noted that BetterPlace is sufficiently capitalised. He added that there is inbound interest, and if there is a good partnership that it finds will help in the company’s growth journey, it will look into that, however, it is not actively looking into fundraising.
While layoffs and hiring slowdown has hit industries across the board, BetterPlace does not see any impact and the industry it works in–the blue-collar segment–is only growing by the day, according to Pravin. However, he mentioned that the growth in certain pockets such as ecommerce, security and facility, will not be as exponential as the firm had imagined.
“We strongly believe that more and more people will come from traditional ways of doing things to the gig economy. Right now, the gig economy on a formal side is around 1.2 to 1.3 crore people, and by 2030 we estimate this to be 9 crore people,” Pravin stated.
Founded in 2015, BetterPlace caters to the entire value chain of frontline workforce management, from verification, discovery, hiring, and onboarding to upskilling, productivity management and benefits transfer. It claims to have over 30 million workers on the platform and counts 1100 companies as clients.
Edited by Akanksha Sarma