PayrollHero Raises $1M From 500 Startups, LX Ventures, Futura, and More

Willis Wee

Philippines and Canada-based PayrollHero, a startup that aims to optimize work productivity and happiness, has concluded a $1 million CAD (approximately US$1 million) seed round of funding from — deep breath — 500 Startups, LX Ventures, The Futura Corporation, 8capita Partners, Ryan Holmes (CEO of Hootsuite), Dan Martell (CEO of Clarity), Benjamin Joffe (aka Mr. Asia), Christian Cotichini (Founder of MAKE Technologies), and other angel investors.

Specifically, PayrollHero, the IT startup of the year in the Philippines, provides payroll, attendance, and scheduling services for companies. Basically, it’s software to ensure people actually work. It uses the employee’s face for biometric authentication to avoid problems like buddy punching. The startup was created when founders Michael Stephenson and Stephen Jagger couldn’t find a good solution on the market for payroll and attendance at their outsourcing company. The solution was to build one. It turned out that it is also a product that other companies are willing to pay for. (Which reminds me of the story of V-Cube.)

With $1 million in the bank, PayrollHero plans to expand across Southeast Asia. For now, it has customers mainly from the Philippines and also Canada, the USA, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.

It also plans to hire more people for its “Adventure Engineering” team. What the heck is that, you ask? Stephen explained that it’s a term his team coined:

Ad-ven-ture En-gi-neer-ing Noun: An unusual and exciting experience or activity built around a flexible work schedule.

The PayrollHero team is split between six in Manila, Philippines and six in Whistler, Canada. There are six adventure engineers, one business development person, one CEO, one product manager, two customer service staffers, and one finance person. From the statement, we understand that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines is one of PayrollHero’s customers. But Stephen declined to disclose more clients when asked.

PayrollHero actually took part in ourStartup Arena competition last year in Jakarta (where they won second place!). Coincidentally, one of the Arena judges, Ben Joffe, also ended up being one of the investors in this round for PayrollHero.

(P.S: Startup Asia Singapore 2013 will be held on April 4 and 5, register early. Applications for the Startup Arena competition are still open but we have received more than a hundred submissions already so don’t delay!)

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