UPDATED 20:53 EDT / AUGUST 04 2020


Employee management software startup Rippling raises $145M on unicorn valuation

Employee management software startup Rippling today said it has raised $145 million in new funding on a valuation of $1.35 billion, giving it unicorn status for the first time.

The new funding will be used to shore up the company’s cash position as a safeguard against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to continue in-house product development.

The Series B round for the company, formally known as People Center Inc., was led by Founder Fund and included Greenoaks Capital, Coatue Management, Bedrock Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Initialized Capital and Y Combinator. Founders Fund partner Napoleon Ta will join Rippling’s board of directors.

Co-founded in 2016 by former Zenefits Inc. Chief Executive Officer Parker Conrad, Rippling offers cloud-based human resources management software that manages employee payroll, benefits, devices and apps. Designed to eliminate the administrative work of running a company, the software is focused on automation with the ability to set up or disable an employee’s payroll, health insurance, work computer and third-party apps such as Gmail, Microsoft Office and Slack in 90-seconds.

“We know there’s never been a more difficult time to run a business,” Conrad said in a blog post. “Overnight, companies have had to adapt to a fully remote world. How do you send a fully configured laptop to a new employee 100 miles away? How do you set up their access to all the apps and tools they need, from Slack groups to Gmail lists? How do you easily create, share and sign all their HR paperwork?… it’s an unprecedented problem that Rippling is uniquely capable of solving.”

In an interview with TechCrunch, Conrad noted that “this fundraising was opportunistic amid the larger macroeconomic risk at the moment. I was working at startups in 2008-2009 and the funding markets are strong right now, all things considered and so we wanted to make sure we had the stockpile we needed in case things went bad.”

This is the second time Conrad has taken a startup into unicorn territory, though his time at Zenefits was mired in controversy. Conrad was forced to resign as CEO in February 2016 amid allegations that the company had intentionally overestimated sales projections and was flouting laws by failing to obtain broker licenses for some employees. Some entrepreneurs and others questioned investors’ willingness to back him again when Rippling was announced in 2017, but some three years later Conrad’s second coming is thriving with investor support to match.

Including the new funding, Rippling has raised $197 million to date.

Image: Rippling

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