Deel, a payment service for individual foreign vendors, is one of the most successful pandemic-era startups. The central part of its product is the convenient web interface for managing remote employees’ documentation, copies of all the needed IDs, bills and invoices. Aside from that, Deel wrote accurate standard contracts to fit local tax administrations and other relevant institutions for every pair of countries. And then there are payments. The company sends the money over to the startup, it distributes it over the vendors’ virtual accounts, and then they can transfer it to banks, local QIWI-like systems or even bitcoin, if it’s legal in their jurisdiction.
Deel brought in USD 700M of investment, valued at USD 12B in its latest round, and overall is the pride and joy of the venture crowd. As if it sends the message ‘ there are still big markets where big companies can be created, there are still real startups.
Kadmos, the German startup of the day, is an identical copy of Deel. Its product is the same, but it doesn’t target developers or other similar lines of work, instead offering payments for sailors. They also get hired from different countries, they also need to get paid, it is also complicated – and there you have Kadmos to sign the necessary papers and send the money.
Why ship owners cannot use Deel – no idea. In theory, one could offer them some integrations with specifically ‘naval’ software, but Kadmos doesn’t mention those on its landing pages. It doesn’t compare itself with any competitors and pretends like it’s unique in the world and invented the whole concept all by itself. Perhaps, the seafaring world hasn’t heard about startups for developers too – so this must be the way it looks, the counter-agents know nothing about any possible alternatives.
Kadmos brought in EUR 29B of investment in its recent round.
Translation: Kostiantyn Tupikov
Alexander made his career in Russian internet companies including Mail.Ru, Rambler, RBC. From 2016 to 2018 he was Chief Strategy and Analytics officer in Mail.Ru Group. In this position, he worked on M&A, investments, and new project launches. In 2018 he became Deputy CEO in Citymobil, a Russian Uber-like company that was invested by Mail.Ru Group and Sberbank (the biggest Russian bank), then he left the company to launch his own projects. Now Alexander is a co-founder of United Investors – the platform for co-investments in Russian early-stage startups. His blog #startupoftheday (#стартапдня) is one of the most popular blogs about startups in Russia.