This Is A Big Deel: FinTech Startup Frees People To Work Remotely From Anywhere In The World
Alex Bouaziz, CEO of Deel, is doing all of the paperwork to make remote work happen seamlessly. The consequence of a seemingly mundane back-office task is nothing less than transformative for the global workplace. By enabling companies to have workers across the world, everything changes.
Deel was founded in 2019 right before the global Covid-19 pandemic. Once the virus outbreak spread, businesses scrambled to get their employees set up remotely—and the startup became a big deal. Bouaziz and his cofounder, Shuo Wang, rapidly grew their company to more than 500 employees in over 60 countries across six different time zones.
Running a business that helps organizations hire anyone—anywhere—as independent contractors or full-time employees turned out to be a brilliant idea for this Covid-19 environment. The payroll-solution business, backed by top venture capitalists YCombinator, Andreessen Horowitz Spark Capital and investors, saw its annual recurring revenue boom from $4 million in 2020 to more than $50 million in 2021.
Companies that offer a remote-first distributed workforce can recruit and hire anyone in the world. They are no longer constrained to candidates that live within commuting distance to the office. For job seekers, they are now free to search for jobs anywhere they want.
Deel, and other companies in this space, will change how people work and where they live. For instance, a person living in India, the Ukraine, Costa Rica or South Dakota was not previously able to get a great job with a Silicon Valley tech firm or at a top-tier investment bank without having to uproot their lives, leave their families and friends behind and relocate. Now that thousands of companies offer remote work options, a person can apply to a job anywhere across the globe.
On the other hand, if you want to move, you can. Imagine how much better your lifestyle would be when you can earn the money that big-city companies pay, but live in a low-cost location. Why stay in San Francisco or New York City, paying exorbitant rents and home mortgages, when you can relocate to a less expensive location?
It's even better when your money goes much further, as real estate prices are affordable and taxes significantly lower. The quality of life dramatically improves when you leave cold, crime-ridden, dirty, crowded cities for sunny weather, friendly people, safety and public schools that are open and offer a top education for your children.
Remote-first companies that can recruit people from all over the world will be able to build a well-diversified workforce. They’ll also get the best talent, as they cast a much wider net compared to their office-bound competitors. It is simply the law of large numbers. Since talent acquisition is scouring an unlimited territory without being tied to one small geographic commuting radius, it's easier to find candidates of all races, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientations.
When companies hire people from a wide array of countries, it's good for society. By interacting with people that have different religions, beliefs and cultures, it encourages a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures. You’ll learn that there are more similarities than differences. It could help smooth out a lot of misconceptions we all may have had about people living in other cities, states and countries.
For people who are a little adventurous and willing to take some risk for high rewards, Deel can pay employees and contractors with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company can deliver payments directly to bank accounts or digital wallets. Currently, about 5% of all Deel platform withdrawals are happening in crypto. The majority of people withdraw bitcoin, followed by Ethereum. USD Coin and Solana are gaining in popularity. The countries where it is seeing the most growth include Argentina, Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico and India.
One of the pleasant unexpected outcomes of the pandemic is that innovative companies such as Deel came up with brilliant ways to improve the quality of lives of workers, and empower employees by offering them meaningful choices and options that they didn’t have before.