Keka, an HR tech leader based out of Hyderabad, has secured India’s largest Series A SaaS funding with a whopping $57 million from WestBridge Capital.
Launched in 2016, Keka entered the HR tech space as a bootstrapped company. Pitted against well-funded Goliaths, it not only emerged victorious but also established itself as a leader in the SME segment.
Championing the cause of HR practitioners at all levels, Keka has built a highly innovative product that was continually shaped and optimized to suit the practical requirements of the industry, all without securing any funding and staying bootstrapped. By the end of 2021, Keka was embraced by more than 5500 companies.
For an organization that reached its 100-customer milestone in 2017, Keka grew exponentially in just a couple of years, crossing the $750K ARR in 2017 and achieving a 7X sales growth in 2020. By 2021, it had crossed the 5500-customer landmark.
“Business today means serving both customers and employees. While there have been plenty of tools to cover the customer experience, employee experience has taken a back seat. Businesses can no longer afford to do that. We want to help organizations focus better on their core asset – the employees. Despite being bootstrapped all this while, we managed to thrive in the market, thanks to our employees and customers,” said Vijay Yalamanchili, CEO of Keka.
“I believe we raised funding at the right time. We have been the fastest-growing HR tech leader in our space. Although we got several offers for funding in the past, we never felt the timing was right. Finding the right investment partner was also significant for us. We wanted to partner with someone with a long-term vision for the HR tech space. I am happy that we found the right investing partner in WestBridge Capital. It is not just about securing funding; it is also a validation of our ideas and approach in a world where many funded businesses are struggling to survive,” he added.
Expressing his confidence in the company, Rishit Desai, Principal at WestBridge Capital, said, “In a short period of time, Keka has emerged as India’s most trusted and innovative HR Tech platform. Keka is disrupting the industry through its world-class product and highly reliable customer support. We are aligned with their vision to build the best mid-market-focused global HR Tech Platform that will allow companies around the world to modernize their HR processes. We are very excited about Keka’s potential and look forward to a long partnership with the company.”
‘Keka’ means ‘awesome’ in Telugu, something the company seeks to symbolize when it comes to the empowerment of the HR function and employee experience. Having secured the historic funding, Vijay and his team have already taken steps to augment the product, enhance their offerings, and bolster customer support. “We want to build a world-class product here in India that will cater to the global market. As we advance, R&D will be our primary area of focus as we expand our engineering, product, and customer success teams,” Vijay stated.
Founded by Vijay Yalamanchilli in 2015, Keka is the leading HR tech platform in India for SMEs with 20-5000 employees. Keka was incepted with a mission to create an awesome employee experience by dumping clunky interfaces and offering easy and simple software solutions. The company started as a squad of five and ascended to become a stellar team of 550+. From automation of people processes to creating an engaged and driven culture, Keka has everything businesses need to build a good-to-great company. The software helps HR teams spend less time on mundane tasks and focus more on the vital assets of any organization: the people. Keka streamlines and automates payroll, recruiting, leave and attendance, performance management, and more with ease. It has left an indelible mark with a reach of 6500+ customers across various sectors, including IT services, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, professional service organizations, accounting, taxation, fin-tech, and others. It currently runs the payroll of 1.5M+ employees monthly.