The global freelance market, a The $1.3 trillion industry it fuels With more than 200 million knowledge workers, this is driving demand for solutions that automate payroll and simplify employment and tax regulations around the world. However, most existing products fail to address the legal landscape of emerging markets, such as differences in labor laws.

This oversight means that global recruitment platforms, which traditionally rely on third-party payroll providers, are typically left to handle the complexities of local employment laws themselves, creating a sub-par experience for workers. Additionally, remote workers in these markets face problems of their own as they often have to wait up to a week to get paid and lose 5-7% in remittance fees. Addressing these pain points is where it’s at Canada Coming up: Launched in 2021, our APIs and white label products allow global workforces to integrate payments and payroll management into their existing systems.

Kadana simplifies payroll for major talent marketplaces, staffing firms and HR providers, enabling them to pay workers in more than 32 emerging markets, including Brazil, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan and the UAE, making it easier for workers in these regions to access global jobs. . Opportunities.

The company told TechCrunch that it has raised a total of $7.4 million in funding since its founding in January 2021. This includes $325,000 in seed funding in the same year and a $7.1 million seed round, which closed this year. Its latest round was led by Costanoa Ventures, with participation from Better Tomorrow Ventures and 500 startups.

“Our customers in emerging markets appreciate what we have built. When we started, workers were often waiting around seven days to receive their payments and missing remittance fees as well, which is a significant burden given that many of them support an average of five family members. Albert Owusu Asare“, he told TechCrunch in an interview. “We have focused on creating a strong local infrastructure to address these issues. Over the past three years, we have integrated our on-premises payments, compliance and benefits systems to better serve our customers and meet their needs.

The fintech’s core customer base extends to the US and the UK, serving remote work companies that employ thousands, even tens of thousands, of workers. Many of them have previously struggled with ineffective vendors or attempted in-house solutions, according to Owusu-Asare, who explained that Cadana provides a range of solutions tailored to the different problems these companies face.

At the lowest level is the white label solution, where businesses can add a logo and go live. The middle tier is for those who want to create custom components, such as UI elements, with support from Cadana. Then, at the top level — targeting customers who need specific solutions but lack the necessary infrastructure — Cadana provides APIs covering payments, compliance, understanding local labor laws, and anti-fraud, allowing its customers to create custom tools.

Owusu-Asare and the other co-founder of Cadana, A brave prince, also a CTO, are both immigrants to the United States who met while in college where they majored in computer science and physics. After years of experience working at Amazon, Esusu and Goldman Sachs, they founded Cadana – initially as an Earned Wage Access (EWA) platform in specific African markets. But, after launch, the on-demand payroll system quickly took a backseat – becoming a feature of the broader game of providing global payroll software and services to companies in emerging markets as the pair spied a bigger opportunity to chase a range of payroll frictions.

“I am from Ghana, and Amir is from Pakistan. We understand very well what these workers need and their vulnerabilities, and our focus is on providing workers in these areas with the best possible wage experience,” Owusu-Asare added.

Some of Cadana’s other features include real-time payment with fees under $3; And options for workers to invest in dollar-denominated assets such as stocks.

Kadana has a few competitors, including companies based in the UAE RemotePass, which also focuses on emerging markets. However, the US payroll giants, including Involved And faris looking to these markets to boost its growth – so it looks like the competition will continue to heat up.

However, Owusu-Asare sees Kadana’s distinctive advantage as its expertise in simplifying and accelerating financial transfers for talent in emerging markets, especially Africa, Asia and Latin America. During our interview, he pointed to multiple flexible payment options (“Eight+”) available for workers to withdraw money, including mobile money, bank accounts, and cards. He also highlights the importance of the startup’s team of legal experts, who he says have “deep knowledge” of local labor laws in different regions.

On the other hand, the CEO told us that he views global HR platforms, such as Deel and Rippling, as potential customers rather than competitors given Cadana’s position as a provider of payroll APIs and white label solutions.

“While the United States has seen a boom in technology platforms aimed at simplifying payroll and benefits, the vast majority of them fall short of addressing the unique challenges that employees and employers face,” said Amy Cheatham, partner at Costanoa Ventures. Emerging markets.

“Albert and Amir have built a purpose-built suite of white label products and APIs for emerging markets to power the next generation payment experience for millions of workers.”

Cadana claims to have processed more than $150 million worth of transactions for its customers to date. She also notes that clients have increased 3x in the past year (she does not reveal which of her clients). The three-year-old company also told us that its revenue, which is generated from tiered pricing and by charging companies fees per contract or paid employee on the platform, increased 11-fold over the same period.

According to its website, the New York-headquartered company has saved workers in emerging markets more than $2.5 million in fees to date. While it looks to continue to be profitable, a feat Cadana said it achieved last year, it will use the latest funds to expand its team, accelerate product development, and expand into new markets.

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