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Salesforce invests $15 million in HR tech platform Darwinbox

Darwinbox wasn’t actively looking for an investor, but the value that Salesforce adds is monumental, says Jayant Paleti

Salesforce Inc. has invested $15 million in Darwinbox, an enterprise human resources (HR) technology platform, via its investment arm Salesforce Ventures. This is the first investment by Salesforce in an Indian venture.

“Cloud adoption in Asia is growing at a monumental pace and the pandemic has only further amplified the importance of going digital," said Alex Kayyal, partner and head, international, Salesforce Ventures.

“Darwinbox is delivering innovation for Asia’s leading enterprises and has emerged as a platform of choice," he said.

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Darwinbox witnessed a surge in adoption during the pandemic as organisations had to ensure business continuity while managing and ensuring safety of the remote workforce.

Founded in 2015 by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti, and Rohit Chennamaneni, Darwinbox’s employee management platform has seen high traction in the enterprise segment. It competes with other established cloud platforms such as SAP and Oracle.

“More and more enterprises are abandoning legacy offerings in favour of our modern, agile human capital management platform that helps them stay ahead of change," Paleti said. “We will work with Salesforce closely to maximize value for our customers, continue building out our product stack, and accelerate global expansion," he said.

Darwinbox had capital on its balance sheet and wasn’t actively looking for an investor, but the value that Salesforce adds to its journey is “monumental", Paleti said.

The latest investment round follows the company’s Series B round, raised in September 2019 and led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from existing investors Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners, and 3one4 Capital, bringing the total investment in the company to $35 million. Darwinbox’s revenues have grown more than four-fold since the last round of funding.

“In the next 1-2 years, we want to build a great product story from India, heavily invest in deep tech and product, and build out data analytics capabilities by leaning on Salesforce to actually maximise value for clients," Paleti said.

"India is home to one of the world's youngest population and, by 2050, it is expected to account for more than 18% of the global working age population," said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairperson and chief execuitve, Salesforce India. "This makes technology platforms such as Darwinbox, which focus on workforces, incredibly important," she said.

Darwinbox’s customers include Adani, Mahindra, Kotak, TVS, Arvind, NSE, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Bharti AXA, Dr.Reddy’s, Nivea, Puma, T-Systems, Swiggy, Bigbasket, and Delhivery.

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