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Salesforce makes maiden India investment, leads $15 mn round in Darwinbox

Salesforce makes maiden India investment, leads $15 mn round in Darwinbox
Photo Credit: Reuters

Salesforce Ventures, the venture capital arm of the American CRM giant, on Tuesday made its first India investment. It led a $15 million funding round in Hyderabad-based HR technology platform Darwinbox, operated by Darwinbox Digital Solutions.

Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners and 3one4 Capital were returning investors in the round.

Darwinbox last raised capital in September 2019, in a $15 million funding round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners and 3one4 Capital.

In a statement, the startup said that its revenue has grown 300% since its last funding round.

“Darwinbox is delivering innovation for Asia’s leading enterprises and has emerged as a top platform of choice. We are excited to be a part of Darwinbox’s journey and support them in their mission,” Alex Kayyal, partner and head (international), Salesforce Ventures, said.

Darwinbox, which provides a cloud based HR technology platform in a SaaS model, was founded in 2015 by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti and Rohit Chennamaneni. The platform offers automation of employee lifecycle including recruitment, onboarding, attendance, expense management, payroll, employee engagement, performance management and people analytics.

The company’s HR solution competes with those of SAP and Oracle, along with other vendors in the enterprise segment.

“Globally, more and more enterprises are abandoning legacy offerings in favor of our modern,  agile HCM platform that helps them stay ahead of change” co-founder Paleti said.

Co-founder Peddi, on the other hand, said that the fresh investment would be utilised to introduce new solutions and advance the startup’s R&D capabilities in deep technology.  The CEO added that the company witnessed a surge in adoption during the pandemic, with over 180 remote implementations completed during the lockdown, and a revenue growth of 200% during the same time.

“As Asian conglomerates, governments, high growth businesses and MNCs operating in Asia witness digital transformation, Darwinbox has become their preferred human capital management solution,” Dev Khare, partner at investor Lightspeed India, said.

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Darwinbox currently provides solutions to over 500 companies globally, including the Adani Group, the Mahindra Group, TVS, Bharti AXA, Dr. Reddy’s, Nivea, Puma, Swiggy and BigBasket. Its services are used by more than 1 million employees in 60 countries, the statement said.