Vara, a Singapore-based staff management platform for small businesses in Southeast Asia, has secured US$4.8 million in a funding round.

Investors include Go Ventures, RTP Global, Alpha JWC Ventures, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, FEBE Ventures, and Taurus Ventures.

“Our ultimate goal at Vara is to deliver more time, energy, and money into the hands of SMEs and their staff. This funding round enables us to continue developing our products and serving our users with an increasing set of value-additive features to accomplish exactly that,” said Abhinav Karale, co-founder at Vara.

In many countries in Southeast Asia, small businesses form the backbone of their respective economies. For example, in Indonesia, over 60 million small businesses contribute to more than 60 per cent of the country’s GDP and employ close to 95 per cent of the labour force.

Since many of these businesses operate in labour-heavy segments of the economy, their staff is critical to daily operations. However, a vast majority of these organisations still manage their human capital — from tracking attendance to tabulating salary — manually.

For employers, this process of attendance and payroll management is cumbersome, time-consuming, and prone to human error. Vara seeks to address this issue by digitising SMEs and their employees.

Also Read: Malaysian startup HAUZ’s all-in-one platform enables companies to manage workforce remotely

Founded in November 2020, Vara aims to transform how small companies manage their staff. Its product, Bukugaji, is geared towards the Indonesian market and claims to have serviced the staff management needs of over 100,000 small companies.

Bukugaji allows business owners to quickly track staff attendance, tabulate salary and loans, generate payslips, and disburse payroll within a few minutes.

Vara is also part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 startups that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals work, live, and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.

However, the workforce management model is not new as Vara is likely to face competition from several similar players operating in this vertical, including Hauz, Swingvy, HReasily, and more.

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Image Credit: Vara

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