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Japan’s Temp Holdings to back Indian HR startups through corporate VC fund

23 August, 2016

Japanese staffing firm Temp Holdings Co Ltd, which had floated a corporate venture capital arm to back human resource (HR) startups around the world, has added India to its investment mandate.

The India investments from Temp Innovation Fund would be administered through Temp’s Asian joint venture with global recruitment firm Kelly Services. The Temp Innovation Fund has set aside Rs 67 crore (around $10 million) to invest in disruptive startups engaged in staffing and recruitment services in the country, The Economic Times reported citing Kamal Karanth, managing director of Kelly Services & Kelly OCG India.

American firm Kelly Services had formed a JV with Temp in 2012 to bring together their HR services in North Asia. In April this year, it expanded the scope of this JV to all of Asia including India. It was not immediately clear if NASDAQ-listed Kelly has also contributed to this fund or will act in an investment advisory capacity.

Email queries sent to both the companies did not immediately elicit a response.

When announced in January this year, Temp Innovation Fund was expected to invest in both Japan and other countries.

“The Temp Innovation Fund will invest in HR startups which will make people-related interfaces and transactions more productive,” Karanth told the newspaper.

The recruitment firm is looking for startups working with HR information systems, employee productivity, recruitment, onboarding, learning management, assessments, employee analytics and engagement and payroll.

“The Indian HR market is valued at about Rs 40,000 crore, including technology platforms, and is poised for rapid growth. We are looking out for startups harnessing complex algorithms, predictive analytics, patented platforms and digital technologies that can enhance HR and recruitment productivity,” he said.

Headquartered in Shibuya (Tokyo) Temp Holdings provides human resources services that operate mainly in Asian markets, including Japan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Since 2008, Temp Holdings has been listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

On the other side, started in 1946 by William Russell Kelly, Kelly Services is a Fortune 500 company delivering staffing solutions across more than 37 countries and territories that include temporary, full-time placement, outsourcing and consulting.

In the recent past, a bunch of Indian HR startups secured funding to augment their presence in the country. Bangalore-based Blueleaf Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates a cloud based SaaS platform called Weballigator for providing HR software to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), raised $375,000 (around Rs 2.5 crore) in angel funding in July this year from a bunch of angel investors and high net-worth individuals (HNIs).

Greytip, a cloud-based HR and payroll solution provider, secured Rs 35 crore in Series B funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Blume Ventures to enhance the existing product base and reach out to a larger segment of the market.

Besides, Darwinbox HR, a cloud-based integrated HR Technology product startup, also raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a round led by Endiya Partners with participation from TracxnLabs, Aaruha Technology and former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai. The startup provides an integrated HR SaaS platform and already has over 25,000 employees using the platform.

In the space, The HR Fund is India’s first HR-focused private investment company. Founded by Varun Talwar and Pankaj Bansal in 2011, Gurgaon-based HR Fund typically invests between $500,000 and $1 million.

The fund has an investment holding period of three-five years and is backed by high net-worth individuals, largely from the corporate sector. Current portfolio of the fund consists of five companies -People Strong HR Servies, People Matters, PiQube, Knolskape and Sheroes.

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Japan’s Temp Holdings to back Indian HR startups through corporate VC fund

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