This Miami startup enables employers to stay ‘Ontop’ of their international hiring

By Riley Kaminer

In a post-pandemic context, the future of remote work is increasingly borderless. This is advantageous for American firms, who can pick and choose from the global talent pool. For international workers, this provides an unprecedented opportunity to gain many of the benefits of US employment without having to live stateside.

Apart from these benefits, there is one major risk to hiring remote international workers: compliance. Misclassifying workers can lead to hefty penalties from local and international governments. And undertaking an insufficient amount of due diligence can make companies vulnerable to fraudsters.

That’s where Bogotá-turned-Miami startup Ontop steps in. The YC-backed startup helps companies hire and pay remote workers from 96 countries – all while ensuring compliance from start to finish.

“We thought it was time to take advantage of the biggest opportunity humanity has ever seen: remote work,” Julian Torres, co-founder and chief strategy officer, told Refresh Miami of Ontop’s origins. 

At the time Torres, alongside fellow Ontop co-founder and CEO Santiago Aparicio, was working on a fitness startup. While the duo was able to successfully navigate the pandemic-induced uncertainty, they felt that they were ready to build something new. Partnering up with co-founder and CTO Jaime Abella, the team sought to create a platform that would unlock value for both businesses and global employees.

Since then, the startup has raised $26 million, including a $20 million Series A round led by Tiger Global and Point72 Ventures, with participation from SoftBank’s $100 million SB Opportunity Fund. 

“We thought that 2022 would be a difficult year for us,” Torres said, due to easing Covid restrictions and a gradual return to in-person work. Much to the contrary, Torres reports that Ontop increased its revenue by 100x over the last 12 months.

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“What’s most interesting is that this growth is almost in line with the moment we landed in Miami,” said Torres. “We attribute much of this success to being in Miami, and to being part of Endeavor Miami,” he said, noting the group’s assistance in giving them a soft landing in the US market.

Of course, this success also stems from the increasing appetite for US companies to leverage top talent from abroad at a time where our national labor market remains tight.

For contractor agreements, Ontop charges a $29 per month per worker fee, plus 1% of the worker’s payment. In cases where Ontop serves as the employer of record, enabling companies to effectively treat employees the same as other full-time team members, Ontop charges around $200 per month – varying a bit depending on the country.

While most of Ontop’s clients at first were startups, now the company serves SMBs and a growing roster of enterprise businesses. “We have one of the most robust infrastructures for compliance,” asserted Torres, explaining one of the major reasons why clients end up choosing Ontop.

Ontop has already begun offering auxiliary services, such as US-dollar bank accounts for international workers. Going forward, they hope to continue growing in this direction – in addition to becoming profitable within the next three months.

Source: Refresh Miami