Darwinbox raises $72 million from Netflix, to Become the Year's Fourth Unicorn

Darwinbox has raised $72 million in a funding round headed by Netflix investor TCV, valuing the cloud-based HRtech business at more over $1 billion, giving it the year's fourth unicorn.

According to cofounder Jayant Paleti, the Hyderabad and Singapore-based firm has already raised a total of $110 million from investors. Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners, 3One4Capital, JGDEV, and SCB 10X were among the investors in the round. Salesforce took its first gamble in India last year when it invested in Darwinbox.

TCV, the principal investor, is recognised for its bets on key US companies such as Airbnb and Netflix. It recently invested in Dream11 and Razorpay, two Indian businesses.

After growing 200 percent in the previous year, Paleti stated that the company intends to double down on global expansion and expedite its product development goals. “We are looking to enter the US markets this year. It will be a super force multiplier, but could become a substantial contributor to revenue in the next three-four years," he added, noting that Darwinbox grew significantly in Southeast Asia despite the epidemic, and India has been a good market for it.

Darwinbox enables businesses to manage their human resource needs digitally, including hiring and onboarding, touchless attendance, and staff administration. It collaborates with both new-age companies like MakeMyTrip and Swiggy and established companies like the Adani Group.

According to Paleti, Southeast Asia accounts for a third of the startup's revenue, with the Middle East accounting for 6-7 percent and India accounting for the rest. He refused to disclose on the company's annual recurring revenue, saying, “The plan is to double our growth this year too and in the coming few years as well.” “We have taken away market share (from rivals). One-third of the 650 clients that we have are the ones where we went and replaced the existing one,” he remarked, alluding to the increase in new revenue additions in India and Southeast Asia.

Darwinbox plans to increase its team size to 1,400 people this year, as part of its expansion strategy. “There will be a lot more focus on employee experience. There are product-led pieces that will add to the experience,” Paleti said. “For example, conversational capabilities, surveying elements etc.”