UPDATED 08:00 EDT / MARCH 21 2024


Startup Borderless AI nets $27M to bring generative AI to global hiring practices

Borderless AI Ventures Inc. launched today with $27 million in new funding and ambitions to use generative artificial intelligence to change how organizations hire and manage overseas employees.

The company says its AI agent, Alberni, can solve complex problems and automate employment-related processes in minutes, compared with the days such processes ordinarily take. Examples include generating employment agreements that comply with local laws and answering questions about employment law, finance and taxation.

It’s targeting employers of record, which are third-party organizations that take on the formal responsibilities of employment — such as payroll, tax withholding, benefits administration and compliance — on behalf of other companies. Essentially, they hire and pay employees on behalf of the employer. Most of Borderless AI’s initial customers are likely to be U.S. businesses hiring overseas, said co-founder and Chief Executive Willson Cross (pictured, left, with co-founder Sean Aggarwal).

“We’re using AI to automate many aspects such as onboarding international employees, automating the creation of their agreements and accelerating payment times and expense reimbursements,” he said.

Mobile first

The company says generative AI can reduce tasks that now take days to minutes. For example, hiring an employee in Sweden typically requires finding a local lawyer to create an employment agreement, which takes between five and ten business days and costs up to $8,000.

Cross said the company’s expense reimbursement functionality, delivered via a mobile app, is another task that isn’t supported by many human resources applications. “Our AI agent uses multimodal technology to scan a receipt, chat back and forth about whether it’s over or under the threshold, and accelerate payment times,” he said. In contrast, most human resources applications are desktop-based.

In the year since its founding, Borderless AI has struck agreements with employers of record in each of its 170 countries. It has also integrated with various local payment services.

Its generative AI engine is based on Cohere Inc.’s Command large language model augmented with what Cross said is an extensive library of proprietary data sets covering government laws in different countries.

“In each jurisdiction where we operate, we have legal partners and experts we work with exclusively,” he said. “These relationships are a moat around the business.” Alberni is trained to look for changes in local laws to keep the training data current.

Cohere alliance

Borderless AI said it is the only Cohere strategic partner in the global human resources market, a relationship that grants it access to expertise and Cohere personnel. However, the relationship is not immutable. “The world’s changing very quickly; we would never put the company at risk by locking into one partner, but we’re very happy with our relationship with Cohere,” Cross said.

He estimated that nearly $5 billion was spent on employer-of-record services in 2023 and the amount is growing $1 billion a year. “Once the AI craze is over, there will be a lot of startups swarming to find business models,” he said. “We are in a segment that has already seen massive revenue growth.”

The company’s published pricing of $579 per employee per month is in line with market standards, Cross said, “and we give away many Alberni features for free. Over 15% of our customers are coming from legacy providers.”

Susquehanna International Group LLP, the venture arm of multibillionaire Bernard Arnault, led the funding round.

Photo: Borderless AI

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