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Entrepreneur Profiles, Gender Diversity

Less Paperwork, More Employee Retention: An Interview with Worky Co-Founder and CEO Maya Dadoo

7 July 2020

Company: Worky

Investors: QED Investors, LEAP Global Partners, STARTegy Ventures

Interview with: Co-Founder and CEO Maya Dadoo

Worky, a Mexican HR automatization platform is currently expanding its services to cater to businesses with 200+ employees, including Kavak and La Haus. The company just raised a US$3m round from QED Investors and LEAP Global Partners. LAVCA interviewed Worky Co-Founder and CEO Maya Dadoo to learn more about the company’s story and expansion plans. 

LAVCA: What made you and co-founders Oscar Castillo and Carlos Marina launch Worky back in 2017?

Maya Dadoo: Carlos Marina and I met through our early investors and decided to start researching the Mexican employment market together. We realized an astounding fact: there are twenty million Mexicans working in SMEs, and 60% of them rotate jobs every year. This significantly harms Mexico’s labor and economic productivity. As we researched further, we became aware that this rotation rate is due to three factors: HR is not strategic, information isn’t flowing correctly within the organization, and employees are seeking benefits that SMEs can’t provide given their purchase power and size. 

Carlos and I saw the opportunity to create Worky, an all-in-one HR software and payroll processing system for Mexican businesses. Oscar Castillo joined us as co-founder and CTO in 2019. Oscar was co-founder and CTO in Dada Room, Latin America’s biggest roommate share platform. By scaling Dada, Oscar became aware of the opportunity to develop and professionalize talent with data, structure, and incentives. 

LAVCA: You recently raised US$3m in a round led by QED Investors and LEAP Global Partners. Did you receive additional funding from strategic partners or corporates before they joined Worky?

Maya Dadoo: We did, we closed our Angel Round with STARTegy, which is an early stage fintech fund focused in Mexico. Their LPs and Partners are extremely well-versed in Mexican fintech regulations and innovation. 

Leap became an investor pretty early on as well thanks to an intro from [LEAP Venture Partner] Leticia Jauregui, who is now part of our board. Leap positioned us in the US investor’s minds and has been a very valuable investor as we push for monetization. 

LAVCA: In a recent interview you mentioned you will be expanding your focus from serving SMEs to cater to companies with more than 200 employees. What is Worky’s opportunity in serving these businesses with a more robust workforce? 

Maya Dadoo: Our first version of Worky was helpful for companies that had ~20 employees. As we started investing more in marketing, we started going upstream. We realized that SMEs that have over 200 employees still manage their HR functions in excel, even with pen and paper. 

These firms can have over 60% employee rotation rates per year. Every churned employee represents a loss equivalent to six months’ wage. As these companies realize the effect that faulty HR management has on their bottom line, they seek to digitalize. Worky becomes a viable solution for their needs. 

We seek to become a player like Namely, [a New York-based HRtech] that successfully delivers a software that can be used by companies that have between 40 and 500 employees. 

LAVCA: Do you see Worky expanding its HR offering to include fintech benefits, in the spirit of providing companies with a holistic approach to both HR management and financial health?

Maya Dadoo: We currently offer fintech benefits as a broker. These include payroll and personal loans, cash advance, insurance, and saving plans. Our aim today is to continue building the best-in-class HR software. However, we will reach a point in the medium term where we will have to analyze whether we provide these types of benefits ourselves or continue partnering with other entities. This decision will depend on the upside and product stage. Today, we still need to maintain focus.