Boundless raises €2.5m to help companies go remote

29 Jun 2021

Dee Coakley. Image: Boundless

The Irish start-up helps employers navigate pitfalls in hiring staff across borders, from local laws to tax obligations.

Boundless, a platform that helps companies employ remote workers, has raised €2.5m in a seed round.

The seed round was led by Ada Ventures and Fyrfly and brings Boundless’ total funding to date to €3.6m.

Boundless was founded by Dee Coakley, Eamon Leonard (who previously sold a start-up to Engine Yard) and Emily Castles.

The start-up got up and running in 2019 but has seen its services blossom with demand since the onset of the pandemic, as more and more companies suddenly found themselves managing and recruiting remote workers in huge volumes.

In some cases, workers could be scattered across different countries and jurisdictions meaning companies are contending with a patchwork of different local regulations and tax obligations that can be easy to run afoul of.

“From failing to register workers in the proper jurisdiction through to incorrectly hiring people as contractors to perform permanent roles, these worries are being felt across the entire leadership team – from the CFO and head of legal to the COO and head of HR or people ops,” chief executive Coakley said.

“Employment laws, tax codes and statutory benefits all differ from country to country. Cultural norms around working also vary significantly. Overlooking or misunderstanding these norms only makes it more challenging to recruit and retain talent,” she said.

Boundless addresses this by “becoming the legal employer of staff”, according to the company. It manages compliance with local laws and taxes while also creating benefits and insurance packages.

Boundless said it has been used by start-ups and publicly traded companies alike.

The company, whose own staff is spread across eight countries, owns and operates subsidiaries in 16 countries in order to provide its service. It aims to be in 35 countries by the end of the year. It has 19 staff, which it plans to double with this new funding.

“The Boundless team is one of the most customer-centric we’ve ever worked with – everything they do is about building and delivering the best possible customer experience,” Matt Penneycard, founding partner at lead investor Ada Ventures, said.

“So, while this is undoubtedly a hot sector with well-funded and talented competitors, we believe Boundless has the most robust approach for building a very large business over the long term.”

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin