Deel Brazil
Cristiano Soares, Deel's country manager at Brazil. Photo: Deel/Courtesy

American startup Deel arrives in Brazil with a solution for hiring foreign professionals

After raising a $156 million Series C round, the startup founded in Silicon Valley brings its operations to Brazil and forecasts that the country will account for 10% of its revenue

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  • Deel works with solutions so companies can easily hire professionals from any country;
  • Currently, Deel serves more than 2,400 companies and enables the hiring of professionals from over 150 countries;
  • The startup has raised $206 million in three rounds in recent months and achieved a valuation of $1.25 billion.

After raising a $156 million Series C round led by YC Continuity and following by Andreesen Horowitz and Spark Capital funds, Deel, a startup founded in Silicon Valley in 2018, debuted its operations in Brazil with an eye on increasing demand for international professionals, leveraged by the need of working from home since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded by Alex Bouariz and Shuo Wang, two former MIT students, Deel focuses on reducing the bureaucracy of hiring foreign professionals. “We knew that it didn’t have to be so difficult to hire and pay people abroad,” says Bourariz.

To make it possible, the startup has a team of more than 250 lawyers that organizes all the labor legislation of each country in which it operates and takes care of the entire hiring process regarding contracts, payments, taxes and local fees, among others.

READ ALSO: Remote work came suddenly and is here to stay – and Latin America is no exception

According to Cristiano Soares, Deel’s country manager in Brazil, the startup takes advantage of a global labor internationalization process, which was accelerated by the pandemic. He mentions a survey by the consultancy Statista, which shows that before the pandemic only 17% of Americans had jobs where they stayed at home for five or more days a week; this percentage increased to 44%.

We expect that we can meet this new need from companies and help in the process of expanding their businesses. We want to be together with companies; while we take care of contracts, payments, exchanges, invoices etc., to scale professional teams remotely, companies can focus on their core business and growth.

Cristiano soares, deel’s country manager in brazil

On its platform, Deel offers four different hiring models to meet the needs of the contracting companies: (1) for occasional jobs; (2) for hours worked; (3) as freelancer/legal entity; or (4) for a full-time job, according to labor legislation of each country.

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According to the legal rules of each country, the employees can receive their paycheck in local currency and choose how they want to receive it: through Transferwise, bank transfer, credit card, Paypal and even bitcoin. The operational cost for the companies varies according to the volume of contracts made by the Deel platform. As more employees are hired, Deel offers discounts on fees paid. The cost to contractors starts at $49.

Deel also offers some financial solutions, such as advance payment and credit cards. In addition, the startup has 24-hour customer service, in all the countries it operates, and employee payment in different currencies through a single invoice.

READ ALSO: Mexican fintech Clara raises a $30 million Series A round to expand its corporate spend-management solution across Latin America

Latin America expansion

Currently, Deel serves more than 2,400 companies and makes it possible to hire professionals from over 150 countries – the most sought professionals are the tech ones, such as software engineers, data analysts and product managers. In the 2021 first quarter, the company reached a GMV greater than $ 100 million.

The accelerated growth dragged the attention of investors: Deel raised $206 million in three rounds in the last few months and reached a valuation of $1.25 billion. With the money from Series C, the startup plans to continue its international expansion.

READ ALSO: Brazil’s proptech unicorn QuintoAndar raises US$300 million to expand to Mexico

In Latin America, Deel is also in Mexico and Colombia, countries where it has contracts with more than 70 companies. In just over a month in Brazil, it has already entered into partnerships with 15 companies. According to Soares, the country is considered one of the most relevant markets for Deel, which forecasts that Brazil may account for 10% of the startup‘s revenue.

“Brazil is the largest market in Latin America and has great potential for us due to the lack of qualified labor and the complexity of labor processes. Remote work continues to grow exponentially. Now Brazilian companies can count on global support to hire and pay anywhere in the world,” he said.