BUSINESS NEWS | digital & technology

Asia’s leading HR tech platform Darwinbox raises $72 Million in latest funding

By Icon Executive Asia
Published January 27, 2022

Darwinbox, Asia’s fastest-growing HR tech platform, marks another milestone with a $72 million funding round, leapfrogging to unicorn valuation. Led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and existing investors’ participation - Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia, Lightspeed, SCB 10X, JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), Endiya Partners and 3One4Capital, the round takes the total investment in the company to over $110 million. Since the last fundraise from Salesforce Ventures 12 months ago, the company has grown 300% in the Philippines. This year, it expects higher growth due to enhanced demand for digital tools in the post-pandemic workplace. 

Founded in late 2015, Darwinbox’s cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) platform caters to HR needs across the entire employee lifecycle. Their new-age product is powering digital HR for more than 1.5 million employees from 650+ enterprises across the globe. This includes leading Filipino enterprises and fast-growing companies like JG Summit Holdings, Robinsons Bank, Straive(erstwhile SPi Global), Shakey’s Pizza, NutriAsia, Delbros Group, along with leading SEA (Tokopedia, Zalora, Zilingo, Wilmar, Mitra Adiperkasa, Indorama, parts of Salim, Djarum group) and global (Nivea, Starbucks, Dominos, T-Systems, AXA, Tokio, Cigna) brands.

Darwinbox currently stands as the youngest and the only Asian-origin player on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for HCM serving 1000+ employee enterprises. It is also rated the highest (4.8) globally on Gartner’s customer reviews platform, Peer Insights; racing ahead of global giants like SAP, Oracle and Workday – a position they secured on the back of innovative technology, deep understanding of market context, intuitive user experience, and excellent customer traction.

“We get most excited investing behind visionary founders that are fundamentally transforming large industries with a highly resonant product,” said Gopi Vaddi, General Partner, TCV. “I am delighted to back an outstanding team that is doing exactly that in a highly impactful, fast-evolving HR technology space and partner with them on their journey to global HCM leadership.” TCV is known for its investments in disruptive tech brands like Netflix, Facebook, Spotify, Airbnb, GoDaddy and Zillow.  

“This investment energizes our mission to continue building technology that enables organizations to unlock the highest potential of their people. We have done this by building a product that puts employees squarely at the center and crafting meaningful experiences for them. This has especially found resonance in this rapidly evolving world of work over the last two years with companies having to rethink how they attract, manage and retain their talent,” shared Jayant Paleti, Co-founder, Darwinbox.

The new funding will supercharge Darwinbox’s global expansion plan by allowing the company to accelerate its platform innovation agenda, strengthen its product, engineering and customer success teams, and scale its go-to-market presence in multiple geographies. The company is set to triple its team within a year, aiming to add more than 100+ team members in SEA across its Manila, Singapore, and Jakarta offices.   

“We are fortunate to have a strategic and dedicated partner in Darwinbox. As a customer-centric organization, we are happy to be working with a partner who shares the same ideals as ours. Darwinbox genuinely values our feedback and is committed to continuously improve their platform based on our needs. This collaborative partnership helps us achieve our HR goals faster and smarter, ensuring that our employees always have a rewarding and seamless experience,” said Lance Y. Gokongwei, President and CEO of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. JG Summit Holdings uses Darwinbox’s platform to digitalize HR for several of the group companies under the Gokongwei Group which include JG Summit, RRHI and Summit Media.

“Investing behind technology to manage talent has become inevitable for organizational success. Darwinbox’s demonstrated ability to build agile, innovative and user-friendly solutions along with deep customer-centricity has made them a platform of choice for several leading enterprises,” added Jessica Neal, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix and a Venture Partner at TCV.

2021 represented one of the most entropic and pivotal years in defining the future of work. The world witnessed “remote” and “hybrid” become common words, and the “Great Resignation” impacted organizations all over, forcing them to rethink their talent strategy. The result is a 3-5 year forward shift in digital-first thinking for all things talent. Darwinbox is at the heart and center of this movement.

Expanding on the product investments, Chaitanya Peddi, the product head and co-founder of the company, shares, “Building for extraordinary agility and delivering stellar employee experience have been critical in defining success for Darwinbox’s customers. We will continue to invest in new and innovative technology to deliver a frictionless experience for the work-from-anywhere workforce.”