Indonesia-based startup Vara that focuses on making staff management easier for small businesses, raised US$ 4.8M in seed funding round on 12 July 2021.
Investors: The investors included Go Ventures, RTP Global, AlphaJWC, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, FEBE Ventures and Taurus Ventures. Vara is part of the Surge accelerator program’s fifth cohort of startups.
Founded in 2020 by Vidush Mahansaria and Abhinav Karale, Vara delivers more time, energy, and money into the hands of SMEs and their staff with the help of its platform. The founders of Vara met while studying at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Vara currently focuses specifically on replacing the notebooks or spreadsheets many relied on to keep track of payroll with an app called Bukugaji.
Vara claims that more than 100,000 small businesses are already using Bukugaji which means paybook. Features of the app:
· Track attendance
· Calculate salaries and worker loans and disburse payroll.
· Managing employee work schedules
· Monitoring loans, cash loans and overtime
· Making professional payslips and reports
Bukugaji is mainly helpful for companies that have less than 30 employees. Many of these companies are in retail, food and beverage or labour-heavy service sectors like construction and transportation. The app also has features for specific employee segments like operational staff (who usually work in shifts) or permanent staff (whose paychecks are fixed over a specific time period).
Indonesia has an estimated 60 million small businesses and many tech players like BukuKas and BukuWarung, for example, are raising large rounds to fuel their race to digitize SMEs’ operations.
With the help of the funding, Bukugaji will add time-saving features like automated allowances and overtime, dashboard shortcuts, reminders and customizable reports. It is planning to allow employers to disburse salaries directly through the platform. The platform will gradually offer data analytics to companies and their workers so that both employers and employees can spot trends in attendance and salary.
What the founders have to say: “Before downloading and onboarding on Bukugaji, the vast majority of our users utilized notebooks to mark attendance and track payroll. A small portion used the notes features on their phones or simple Excel sheets. Bukugaji is designed to be fully self-service, so businesses can download and start using the app on their own. Its main app is mobile only, but the platform also has a web version. — Vidush Mahansaria, co-founder of Vara.
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