Today we’re thrilled to announce our investment in Boundless, the awesome remote employee platform out of Dublin!
Boundless was founded by an all-star team of Dee (CEO), Emily (CTO) and Eamon (CSO), who come out of the Dublin tech community, and are building a truly global company, operating in the UK and other countries already. Boundless is facilitating international expansion with an employment and payroll platform that focuses on operational compliance.
Prior to this round, Boundless had been funded by our friends at Seedcamp, Tiny, and some fantastic angels. We were introduced to the company by Carlos Espinal, co-founder of Seedcamp and friend of Ada Ventures. We co-led this seed round of £2M alongside the fantastic Julie Maples at Fyrefly Ventures in San Francisco. I want to shout out to our partner and advisor Ed Zimmerman (the one and only) for introducing us to Julie last year.
Why does Boundless fit the Ada thesis and what got us excited?
- Enormous macro trend. International expansion and hiring was a growth area before the global lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. Now, it’s a huge trend as companies are embracing the benefits of remote/international teams — with several multi-billion dollar companies allowing their employees to work fully remotely post-Covid, including Facebook, Twitter, Shopify and Slack. As an early-stage investor we are very trend and theme driven, and we believe that internationalisation of employees is an area we want exposure to for our fund.
- Team-market fit. As I said in the official PR that announced this deal earlier today, the Boundless team is one of the most customer-centric teams we’ve ever worked with. This approach is crucial when customers are operating in new jurisdictions, and it’s not an activity that can be solved just with technology. We’re not afraid of complicated businesses that also involve humans and Boundless is a great example of this, which came out very strongly in the pre-investment reference calling we did with their customers. Best in class execution is required for operationally complicated businesses such as Boundless, and these businesses develop big defensive moats as they scale.
- Not a winner-take-all market. There’s no doubt that the PEO sector is being tech-ified by several talented and well-funded start-ups. Competition doesn’t scare us where we see room for various approaches to succeed, which is the case with Boundless. The Boundless approach is product and customer centric: they will ensure employee compliance, and provide a secure, thorough product that was born out of the founders’ deep operational experience in this space. We took a lot of confidence from hearing this repeated again and again by Boundless’ customers and so, whilst this space is red hot at the moment, Boundless’ month-on-month growth is clear evidence that what they’re doing is working.
- Female founders! (sorry Eamon). Ada’s current portfolio of founders is a touch over 50% female — representative of the world we live in! Dee Coakley (CEO, co-founder) is a leader that can grow an organisation from start-up to global player, which is an incredibly hard bar to clear. Boundless is also one of a sadly small number of companies to have a female CTO, the brilliant Emily Castles.
Boundless is expanding into new territories all the time, which opens up more and more customers. They are also recruiting. Its a mark of their level of ambition that we co-led this round with an SF-based fund. For Ada, as a UK-focused fund, we’re excited also by the growth in the UK team for Boundless, which our capital will be contributing towards. Please check out Boundless if you’re involved in a company that wants to grow its team in other territories — you’ll be in the safest hands!