Thursday, 23 March 2023

When the tech IPO market reopens, keep an eye on HR unicorns

by Earn Media

The back half of 2023 is expected to unlock the technology IPO market. Whether the public-offering window opens later this year or early in 2024, TechCrunch+ expects to see a few familiar names in the mix from the HR tech space.

And perhaps some less familiar names.

Regular TechCrunch readers are likely familiar with HR-tech unicorns like Rippling, Gusto and Deel, late-stage startups with valuations around or above the $10 billion mark.

Velocity Global is another name to include in the startup cluster. Worth a few billion dollars, its recent growth and profitability mean that when we consider potential exits in the HR technology market, it should be on the list.

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Even more fun, Velocity Global CEO Ben Wright shared a grip of financial data about his company with TechCrunch+ recently. The new numbers give us even more perspective into the growth and worth of startups that help other companies run payroll.

There is nuance in the HR tech space. First, the dividing line between running payroll and hiring workers: While Deel and Velocity Global appear more focused on being employers of record (EoR) for domestic companies looking to hire internationally, Rippling and Gusto are more known for running payroll for customers’ domestic workforces. But don’t try to jam the four companies into two distinct groups; Rippling also offers customers the ability to be their co-employer, and both Rippling and Gusto offer support for international staff.

In short, while the four companies may have started off with a particular focus and geographic bent, they are overlapping more over time as they broaden their product lineup to support more customer use cases and, we presume, to grow their revenue footprint with existing customers.

As we wait for some brave company to be the first IPO out of the gate, let’s chat through Velocity Global’s numbers and valuation and contrast both with what we know about some of its private-market competition. For you digit-heads out there, we’re going to close with a question about which company’s valuation makes the most sense. Ready? To work.

When the tech IPO market reopens, keep an eye on HR unicorns by Alex Wilhelm originally published on TechCrunch