Israeli payroll management startup triples valuation after $250m investment

Papaya Global, founded in 2016, is said to be eyeing an IPO following multiple funding rounds

Ricky Ben-David is a Times of Israel editor and reporter

Eynat Guez, co-founder and CEO of workplace management platform Papaya Global. (Courtesy)
Eynat Guez, co-founder and CEO of workplace management platform Papaya Global. (Courtesy)

Papaya Global, a Tel Aviv-based global payroll and payment management platform, raised $250 million in a fresh funding round — its third in less than a year — sending its valuation soaring to $3.7 billion, the company announced on Saturday.

Papaya last raised $100 million in March at a valuation of over $1 billion, following a $40 million investment last October. The company attributes its rapid growth to the increased adoption of remote work and global hiring practices driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company’s current Series D round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, a frequent investor in Israeli companies, and Tiger Global, also a New York-based investment firm. Existing backers of Papaya Global including Greenoaks Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Group 11 also took part in the round.

Papaya Global was founded in 2016 by Israeli entrepreneurs Eynat Guez, Ruben Drong, and Ofer Herman, and developed a workforce and payment management software platform geared toward different forms of employment including those on payroll, contractor work, and third-party recruiting and payment. The company says its cloud-based solution removes barriers to global hiring — from onboarding to ongoing management and cross-border payments — while meeting various privacy standards and security regulations.

Papaya says its services are used in over 140 countries, and that it has seen revenue growth of over 300% year-over-year for the past three years. It claims to save time and money for clients by integrating all payment solutions and compliance elements into a single platform.

The company’s clients include Intel, Microsoft, Toyota, and Wix.

“2021 is a breakthrough year for Papaya,” said Guez, who serves as CEO, in a company statement. “This latest round of funding, which follows our Series C only six months ago, will allow Papaya to continue its hyper-growth as we expand globally.”

She told the Globes business daily that the company was now preparing for an IPO (initial public offering) in the public market “within the next 24 months” depending “on parameters like the situation of the market.”

“With companies switching to remote work and compliance becoming increasingly complex, we are seeing substantial demand for Papaya’s solution, even in a challenging business environment,” Guez said in the company statement.

Papaya, she added, was setting “a new standard for global payroll management” with new offerings such as “Total Payroll,” a feature that allows businesses to manage its global payroll activities through a single panel, including equity and benefits for employees and contractors. The company also announced on Saturday a new capability focused on social responsibility — a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) dashboard that tracks elements such as fair pay, gender distribution, retention, and age distribution.

The new feature “provides the statistics companies need to track their progress and display their success in areas of social impact,” the startup said.

Papaya said the fresh funding round will be used to fuel Papaya’s continued growth as well as attract rapidly growing companies and Fortune 5000 clients. Its current valuation of $3.7 billion places Papaya at the top of the payment and payroll solutions sector.

“Papaya is redefining the global people management category with its best-in-field technology and superior customer experience, supporting needs in compliance, benefits, and labor law globally,” said Teddi Wardi, managing director at Insight Partners. “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Papaya and watch them grow.”

Papaya is headquartered in New York and has offices in Herzliya.

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