During the past few years, the global workforce underwent the most dramatic shift it has seen in decades, where the pandemic sped up the adoption of remote work by at least seven years. Work is now decentralized, fueled by companies that are increasingly hiring remote workers as geographical boundaries for a wide range of jobs are being erased. At the same time, populations across emerging markets continue to battle currency volatility and a limited access to basic financial products. Take credit cards for example where on average, the penetration in emerging markets is 0.4 credit cards per inhabitant compared to 2.1 in the US and 1.1 in developed markets. A similar picture is painted when we observe the savings penetration (debit cards) in emerging markets which stands at 1 debit card per inhabitant compared to 1.7 in developed countries. This shows a clear need for increased financial services in emerging economies, where access to financial products can change the fabric of society by increasing economic output and enabling access to other vital services such as health and education. Here is where ONTOPʼs solution comes in which is re-inventing payment rails for remote payroll processing. In the process, they are enabling the remote workforce to have better solutions to collect, save and invest their paychecks.
From the first day back in 2020 when we met Santiago, Julián, and Jaime, we were true believers of the problem they were trying to solve and how they were trying to solve it. Back in the day, during their Pre-Seed and Seed rounds, the solution was mainly focused on building the international payroll management system, but we always thought that their fintech roadmap was an even larger and untapped opportunity. Nowadays, their fintech product is based on a robust wallet with different capabilities. First, in terms of functionality, ONTOP takes care of all KYC/AML processes, reviewing and analyzing bank account balances, lending/payroll advancement advance products, unemployment insurance, and perks/rewards. Second, in terms of pay out, the wallet enables users to have bank, wallet, and other transfers/payments to 3rd parties. Third, the company offers a debit card which permits workers to pay at different POS, e-commerce platforms and ATMs. Finally, the payroll is managed in US dollars, enabling users to connect the wallet to different platforms such as PayPal and crypto exchanges, as well as other bank accounts or credit cards. The revenue model is comprehensive and can be divided into four categories: subscription to international hiring tool, FX spread on pay-ins & pay-outs, interchange fees in the ONTOP card and wallet, and finally interest rates on its lending product.
At H20 Capital, we are proud to have invested in ONTOP in our Fund I in their Pre-Seed and Seed rounds, but also our Fund II invested in their Series A alongside world class investors such as Tiger Global Management and SoftBank. We invested in ONTOP due to the fact that they already had a proven product-service market fit, had several advantages stemming from being the first mover in the remote hiring space in LatAm, and, additionally, because of the strong and seasoned founding team. The company has shown impressive traction since our initial investment and the fintech arm continues to evolve, bringing additional economic value to the company and its clients.
We are excited for the impact the solution can bring to thousands of companies and workers and we will continue to support ONTOP as we have been doing since day one.
Please visit ONTOPʼs website to learn more about the SaaS platform that enables any company in the world to hire internationally without any hassle while complying with local regulations.