- Seed funding round is co-led by Ada Ventures – set up in 2019 to invest in diverse founders – and FYRFLY Venture Partners in San Francisco
- Boundless is a global remote employment platform that helps companies provide a duty of care to their employees – covering compliance, employee rights, benefits and more
- Boundless is active in 16 tightly regulated countries across four continents, with plans to expand to 35 countries by the end of 2021
- Irish start-up is the brainchild of CEO Dee Coakley, CTO Emily Castles and CSO Eamon Leonard and is one of few start-ups worldwide to have a female CEO-CTO duo that has raised funding
- Start-up’s latest funding round takes it to a total of €3.6 million raised to date
Boundless, a remote employment platform, has raised €2.5 million in seed funding to help companies compliantly employ talent globally while giving their employees access to benefits and opportunities in the country they work in.
Co-led by Ada Ventures and FYRFLY, the raise represents the significant shift to remote working – now a multi-trillion euro market as a result of the pandemic – as people both migrate to return to their home countries and, now restrictions are lifting, move to countries they have always wanted to live in. This has also opened the door to a new era of global employment in which employers recognise the need to offer remote-first jobs if they want to find the best talent.
However, thousands of organisations are currently breaching local employment laws without even realising it. And those that do lack the experience or knowledge to solve this problem, or believe there is no easy way to solve it.
Dee Coakley, Co-Founder and CEO of Boundless, comments: “From failing to register workers in the proper jurisdiction through to incorrectly hiring people as contractors to perform permanent roles, these worries are being felt across the entire leadership team – from the CFO and Head of Legal to the COO and Head of HR/People Ops. Employment laws, tax codes and statutory benefits all differ from country to country. Cultural norms around working also vary significantly. Overlooking or misunderstanding these norms only makes it more challenging to recruit and retain talent.”
Boundless fixes this problem by becoming the legal employer of staff, using the best-practice Employer of Record model. The company combines easy-to-use and intuitive technology with deep local market and operational expertise to help businesses with international teams to employ staff in compliance with local laws and local tax regulations. What’s more, Boundless works with employers to build benefits and insurance packages, beyond the statutory minimum, enabling companies to stand out as an attractive employer looking to compete for the best talent in those markets.
The business works with organisations of all sizes – from fast-growth startups to large corporates and public companies with 64,000+ global teams – which don’t just want to do the minimum required by law, but are actually aiming to be great employers wherever they hire, and whatever level they’re hiring at. Boundless, for example, is working with tech start-up Stark to ensure its team members in Canada, Ireland, Portugal, and the UK have equitable benefits – using Germany as its benchmark – after it helped move the firm’s CEO from the US to Ireland.
It has also helped cloud computing business Transparity to establish a new 24/7 support function in New Zealand, ensuring the same high-quality employee experience as its UK team. Next15, a publicly traded group of media companies, is also using Boundless’ international expertise to grow its team while compliantly employing people in six countries.
Boundless, which is a remote-first employer and has 19 staff working in eight countries, is active in several of the world’s most tightly regulated markets. It wholly owns, operates and manages subsidiary businesses in 16 countries across four continents, with plans to expand to 35 countries by the end of 2021. What’s more, it only hires deep domain experts in payroll, HR and legal who can take on the toughest employment and local compliance issues. It plans to double the team in the coming months, hiring across payroll, legal, HR, engineering, marketing, and sales.
Founded in 2019, Boundless is led by an experienced team of employment and technology specialists. Coakley, who spent more than 14 years working outside of her home country of Ireland, is a three-time COO who experienced first-hand the operational challenges of setting up employees in new countries. CTO Emily Castles is an experienced software engineer and has worked on distributed teams her entire career. CSO Eamon Leonard has spent the past two decades developing and building products, leading teams, and creating communities.
Boundless is one of few fast-growth start-ups worldwide to have a female CEO-CTO duo that has raised funding. According to Atomico’s recent The State of European Tech report, all-male teams account for a massive 90.8% of all capital raised (up from 90.3% in 2019) and 85% of all rounds. Ada Ventures is helping to address this problem, after it launched in 2019 to super-charge diverse founders. Boundless is the venture capital firm’s latest investment.
“More than half of our current portfolio has at least one female founder, so it’s fantastic to back another female-led company that has the potential to become a global leader,” comments Matt Penneycard, Founding Partner at Ada Ventures. “The Boundless team is one of the most customer-centric we’ve ever worked with – everything they do is about building and delivering the best possible customer experience. So, while this is undoubtedly a hot sector with well-funded and talented competitors, we believe Boundless has the most robust approach for building a very large business over the long term.”
Julie Maples, Founder and General Partner at FYRFLY, says: “We bet on the Boundless team because of their industry expertise and leadership. As a seed stage fund that invests in Europe and distributed teams, we know they are uniquely suited to serve the needs of a truly global workforce.”