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The Making of NiYO, 1-2- 3!

Prime Venture Partners

May 13, 2019, 1:46 p.m.

The Making of NiYO, 1-2- 3!

A Fresh Look at Payroll and Benefits

Sometime last year, I was chatting with Vinay Bagri, a senior banking executive, about the payroll market. One of the questions we discussed was why, despite all the advances in smartphone technology, cloud-computing, mobile
banking/payments, etc. the payroll sector had hardly seen any recent disruptions.

During the course of the conversation, both of us realized that most of the problems the industry is facing today could be addressed differently with the use of smarter technology. The following 24 hours saw us make several phone calls to HR professionals, a few employees and come to the conclusion that that we were staring at an opportunity to solve a huge problem. In fact, not just in India, but also globally, Payroll and Benefits administration and optimization is still a massive pain point. We felt we could provide an aspirin that is 10x more powerful than the
current state-of- the-art solutions. And, we decided to do something about it.

As they say, when you decide to do something good, the world conspires to make it happen for you. To our good fortune, within a few days we got a call from Virender Bisht, a former colleague of my partner, Amit Somani. Viren is an excellent business savvy CTO and within 48 hours, he too got excited about the idea, so
much so that he decided to move lock-stock and barrel to Bangalore!

We decided to work together on something completely new and category creating. The name NiYO stands for the fresh new look at Payroll & Benefits.

Over the course of the next few months, the product was defined and the core team was formed. We at Prime invested a $1M round of seed funding and the team went to work at feverish pace in defining the product, validating the details with the eco-system partners, refining the story and bringing the product to market in
record time.

Over the past 4 years we’ve invested in more than 15 companies and in each case the experience of working closely with entrepreneurs teaches me things that often pleasantly surprise me.

In Vinay & Viren’s case, the entrepreneurial hustle, capital efficiency and leadership demonstrated by them and the core team at NiYO was exemplary and their sense of jugaad manifested itself in every possible way. This is the only time I’ve heard a CEO tell me “What hiring problem? We don’t have one!” What delighted me the most was the commitment to put the customer first, the product next and their individual egos last!

The problem they are taking on is huge. In India alone, 30 million people take home $240 billion in Payroll every year, growing at 12% CAGR. But, the paper-laden process is fraught with inefficiencies and errors leading to suboptimal solutions. With NiYO, HR managers and organizations will be able to offer their employees a best-in- class, real-time solution that will maximize benefits for employees, ensure 100% compliance for employers and minimize operational overhead for both. With some patent-pending innovations, NiYO will rapidly
transform the market in coming months.

The timing for NiYO also seems just right. In India the advent of IndiaStack (Aadhaar, eKYC, Unified Payment Interface (UPI), eSign, DigiLocker) as well as the explosive growth of smartphones is truly setting the stage for a dramatic range of innovations that will transform digital transactions from sub 5% to 30% in the next 3-5 years. NiYO has the luxury of no legacy and can on-board its customers in an instantaneous, friction-free, paperless manner and benefit from several of the new API-based solutions that are coming to market.

Customers who have started piloting NiYO are excited about the product and the company is passionate about making things perfect for this segment. Time will tell as to whether the company succeeds or not but their commitment to customer-first gives me a lot of reasons to feel they will do very well.

Customers who have started piloting NiYO are excited about the product and the company is passionate about making things perfect for this segment. Time will tell as to whether the company succeeds or not but their commitment to customer-first gives me a lot of reasons to feel they will do very well.

Do check them out at goniyo.com.

GoNiYO!

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