Oyster, an International Hiring Startup Raises $4.2 Million

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LONDON and SAN FRANCISCO, April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Oyster™, a startup dedicated to fixing the broken international hiring model, today announced $4.2M in seed financing. Leading the round is London-based Connect Ventures, with participation from Sorenson Ventures, Kima Ventures, and Transferwise Co-founder and Chairman, Taavet Hinrikus, among others. Oyster is a distributed talent enablement platform that lets companies easily hire, manage payroll, and give local benefits to their full-time employees anywhere in the world.

Today, would-be global employers face complex and expensive challenges when it comes to hiring in other countries. Creating local entities is costly, takes time, and creates administrative overhead, in addition to ongoing compliance risk. Meanwhile, in-demand remote workers are seeking the security and perks of full-fledged employment, which may not be available to them locally. According to Korn Ferry, by 2030 there will be a deficit of 85 million workers in the developed world, while in the developing world tens of millions of talented people will be qualified for jobs that don’t exist where they live. Left unchecked, the impact of this talent shortage is predicted to reach $8.5T in unrealized annual revenue for companies, while opportunity and wealth become even more concentrated in just a few parts of the world.

Inspired by a vision of the future in which any talented person in the world can enjoy access to opportunities with any company, Oyster’s SaaS platform makes it easy for companies to extend full-time, full-fledged employment, with all the benefits and perks, to their valued workers anywhere in the world. 

“We are excited to partner with Tony and Jack at such a decisive moment for the future of work,” said Pietro Bezza, General Partner of Connect Ventures. “In the wake of COVID-19, work from home is going to be even more pervasive, and both companies and individuals are going to want to look to the whole planet for talent and job opportunities, respectively. But the experience of international hiring is currently broken. Oyster is pairing the infrastructure and software necessary to reduce the friction, building a SaaS product that talents and employers will love.” 

For Oyster co-founder and CEO Tony Jamous, this is not the first startup focused on solving a complex, global-scale business problem. Nexmo, founded by Jamous and Eric Nadalin in 2010, made it easy for businesses to easily embed communications in their software applications and reach their customers around the world with text and voice messages. Nexmo was acquired by Vonage in 2016. Oyster co-founder, Jack Mardack, was head of growth at Nexmo.

“As an entrepreneur having built global businesses and hired teams in over 50 countries, I’ve been shocked by the level of complexity and cost required to hire people in other countries,” said Tony Jamous, co-founder and CEO, Oyster. “The COVID-19 outbreak has led to more companies adopting a remote-work model than ever before. Now that we’ve been thrown into the deep end, we expect companies to embrace a fully remote workforce moving forward. We founded Oyster to break down logistical boundaries and make it possible for companies to hire top talent, regardless of location.” 

The simple, easy-to-use SaaS platform is designed to enable employers to more seamlessly manage hiring, benefits, and payroll. The company is opening early access to beta customers. For more information, visit: http://oysterhr.com

About Oyster™
Oyster is on a mission to remove the barriers to global employment. We want to make it easy for anyone to be fully employed by any company anywhere in the world. We believe this makes the world a better place for three reasons: 1) it helps redress inequalities of access to opportunity, 2) it allows for the distribution of wealth to places other than the major cities of the world, and 3) it supports the environmentally-friendly and business-smart shift to remote working. Founded in 2019 by Tony Jamous and Jack Mardack, Oyster is itself a fully remote company with a diverse, globally-distributed team. Oyster is currently in early-access. To learn more, visit: http://oysterhr.com

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