Investing in Skuad
A recurring challenge of companies we have invested in is finding tech talent, especially when hitting a certain growth rate. While this is true for most tech companies, the reality is, this is felt differently if you are a company in Western Europe / in the US or Singapore / Indonesia. While tech opportunities abound across the world, tech talent pools are much more unevenly distributed.
Enter the team from Skuad. With previous experiences building tech teams across the US and India, and with the root of the company being in servicing tech companies from South East Asia, they have felt acutely the pain of trying to grow tech teams, especially in India. The set of problems to solve is complex and can be summarised in three main activities:
- Hire: find, evaluate, win …
- Pay: contract, invoice, pay, compensate …
- Manage: onboard, manage, evaluate, offboarding ….
Skuad’s product aims to help companies answer these problems, starting first with talent in Asia but growing their talent pool across more locations rapidly.
Skuad sits at the intersection of several thesis areas that we have conviction in at Anthemis, most principally embedded payments. In line with our embedded finance thesis, we believe that payments are something that can be vertically embedded and executed without friction on a global scale. This means that payments in effect become invisible, integrating directly into that vertical experience rather than being a separate bolt-on payments widget.
Skuad embodies that thinking as it relates to payroll and remote hiring. Today, that process is highly intricate and makes hiring and managing a global employee base very difficult. Skuad’s verticalized platform abstracts and streamlines away the complexities of payments and their regulatory/tax features concerning payroll, rendering them effectively ‘invisible’. While underneath the Skuad platform, there is a highly complex and heavily regulated infrastructure, the user (both employee and company) is not aware that this complexity exists.
While the payments layer is a critical part of our investment in Skuad, the actual platform itself expands much further. This is important because the complexity of managing a global remote team is much more than a payment and compliance problem. Finding and evaluating talent on one end, managing talent on the other end are key aspects that will become increasingly important and differentiating.
Consequently, as with many opportunities in the space, our thesis is focused on a pendulum strategy with regards to embedded financial services. Start with a core fintech problem, payroll payment, and embed it in a global talent and employee platform. As this platform scales, the opportunity for layering in other financial services components increases from a full range of additional financial services options to the employee base (i.e. salary streaming, FX hedging, benefits, etc.). to the employers themselves (i.e. equipment leasing, office rental, etc.).
We are excited to join the Skuad team on their journey. If you are a company looking to hire remote talent, please reach out!