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Vara, a company providing SaaS solutions to Southeast Asian businesses, has raised $4.8M in seed round funding. It was a part of the 23 companies (majorly SaaS) in Sequoia Capital’s Surge 05 accelerator program, launched this June.
Vara, a staff-management platform for Southeast Asian small and medium enterprises (SME), has announced the raise of $4.8 million in a seed round from Go Ventures, RTP Global, AlphaJWC, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, FEBE Ventures and Taurus Ventures, reports state.
Vara, founded in 2020, via its debut product Bukugaji targets the Indonesian market to create an operating system for frictionless staff management. It comes with features to track attendance, calculate salaries and worker loans and disburse payroll. The company was a part of the 23 companies under Sequoia Capital’s fifth cohort (Surge 05) accelerator program.
Bukugaji also comes with additional features for employee-specific segments such as operational staff, permanent staff and others. Designed in a self-service model, businesses would be able to download and use the app on their own. The platform also offers a web version.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Vidush Mahansaria, co-founder of Vara, elucidated that Bukugaji targets companies having fewer than 30 employees having workers who usually have little access to bank accounts and traditional financial services.
Mr. Mahansaria added that most businesses they serve have unbanked workers who avail loans from their employers. It could pose two challenges – in terms of tying up working capital for their employers and workers depending too much on their employers- both of which make it hard to break the cycle. This problem is addressed by employee wage access (EWA) platforms by providing on-demand access to wages.
“Owning end-to-end payroll and attendance gives us an information edge that is unparalleled for this labor segment. Data can enable companies to add things like benefits that their employees usually don’t have access to, and in turn give workers a digitally-verified work history,”Mr. Mahansaria told TechCrunch.
Vara is thinking about adding EWA features to Bukugaji alongside other value-additive features. It is stated that, in the future, Bukugaji would witness time-saving features such as automated allowances and overtime, dashboard shortcuts, reminders and customizable reports in the future. Soon, employers will be able to disburse salaries directly through its platform. Further down the lane, Bukugaji would also offer data analytics to companies and their workers.