Human resource technology startup Darwinbox has raised $72 million in Series D funding led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), catapulting the company into the coveted unicorn club – firms with valuation of $1 billion or more.
The round also saw participation from existing investors — Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia, Lightspeed, SCB 10X, JGDEV, Endiya Partners, and 3One4Capital.
The funding takes the total investment raised so far to over $110 million, placing it among the most well-capitalised HR tech players in Asia, the startup said in a press release.
Based out of Menlo Park, California, tech investor TCV has backed startups such as holiday rental app Airbnb, video giant Netflix, audio streaming provider Spotify and British fintech Revolut among others. Its India bets include payment gateway Razorpay and online gaming firm Dream Sports.
Founded in 2015 by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti, and Rohit Chennamaneni, Darwinbox competes with global leaders like SAP, Oracle and Workday.
The new funding will help Darwinbox in its global expansion plan by allowing the company to accelerate its platform innovation agenda, strengthen its product, engineering and customer success teams along with scaling their go-to-market presence in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
“We will continue to invest in new and innovative technology to deliver a frictionless experience for the work-from-anywhere workforce,” says Chaitanya Peddi, co-founder and product head at Darwinbox.
The company expects its headcount to grow by 100% and is also setting up to launch in the U.S. in 2022.
“We strongly believe in a simple first-principle – people are at the core of every successful enterprise. And technology is the most scalable way for organisations to unlock the true potential of its people,” says Rohit Chennamaneni, co-founder of Darwinbox. “We have seen the impact of executing on this belief by allowing our customer-enterprises to truly harness the demographic dividend that a young Asian workforce promises. We’re now ready to take the same first-principle and solution for the world.”
The startup has grown 200% in revenue since the last fundraise from Salesforces Ventures 12 months ago and has added over 700,000 users on the platform in the same period, it said in a press statement.
Earlier this month, Fortune India reported that the country may see as many as 45 startup unicorns in the next 12-18 months. Already three startups — Mamaearth, Fractal and LEAD School have attained unicorn status this year. Over 40 local startups entered the unicorn club last year.
Zepto, Fresh To Home, Ninjacart, Purplle, Practo, Open, DeHaat and Khatabook are among the startups that feature on the soonicorn list compiled by PGA Labs, the market research unit of Praxis Global Alliance. Fintech leads the sectoral pack, holding the potential to add 15 unicorns.
Funding for startups nearly trebled to about $30 billion in 2021, data earlier sourced from market research firm Tracxn showed.
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