London-based Omnipresent Group raises €1.6 million to boost the remote work revolution

British HRtech startup Omnipresent Group has raised around €1.6 million in a seed round led by Playfair Capital and Episode 1. The fundraise was closed within six weeks during the height of the pandemic with participation from investors including Entrepreneur First, Truesight Ventures, Charlie Songhurst, Andrew Goodman, Akash Gupta, Srin Madipalli and Ian Hogarth.

For many people, remote work is here to stay. Even before Covid-19, flexible and remote working was already becoming commonplace in modern companies looking to attract the best global talent. 

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated this trend, many companies are risking non-compliance with international labour laws and regulations. Some specific challenges include: permanent establishment, transfer pricing, employers’ liability. Omnipresent, founded in 2019, addresses these challenges via its tech-enabled platform that handles all of the complexity of international employment for clients and offering them and their remote workers a simplified, cost effective and legally compliant employment solution. 

“Remote work is one of the great equalisers of our time,” said Matt Wilson, the company’s co-founder and Co-CEO. “It allows people to secure employment opportunities from the best companies around the world, no matter where they were born or where they live. Yet, at a time when remote work is exploding, most companies are finding it operationally too complex, as well as prohibitively costly, to employ workers internationally. At Omnipresent, we’re centralising this complexity for our clients and offering them, and their remote workers, a simplified, cost effective and legally compliant employment experience.

With a network of legal entities across the world, coupled with an automation-focused tech platform, Omnipresent is centralising the complexity and cost of global employment by offering what Wilson refers to as “the premium global employment-as-a-service offering on the market.”

The fresh funds will be used to extend Omnipresent’s coverage to 80 markets by the end of 2020, enabling the company to meet the explosion in demand from companies wanting to employ their interjurisdictional remote workers in a legally compliant and cost effective way.

Joe Thornton, who leads the deal on behalf of Playfair Capital, said: “Change always has a transaction cost. For business executives, the prospect of shifting from a collocated office to a fully distributed workforce was previously viewed as too risky a change, even though the evidence has long supported the superiority of remote workforces. And then suddenly, earlier this year, the decision was taken for every business executive as the entire knowledge economy globally was forced into remote working due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.” 

Carina Namih, General Partner at Episode 1 who co-led the deal, said: “I’ve experienced these challenges firsthand as the CEO of a business with my team spread across several jurisdictions. Now as a board member of several rapidly growing businesses, I see management grappling with these challenges time and again. Omnipresent’s solution is sorely needed.”

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