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Employment software startup Flare is targeting small business customers and new products to help users boost their financial security after banking $22 million in fresh funding from the KKR-backed accounting platform MYOB.

The Flare was founded in 2015 and provides software that manages the onboarding of new employees, other human resources functions, and payroll to corporate clients including Deloitte, Grill’d, and Nissan.

Flare’s co-founders Dan Cohen and James Windon said the funding injection and accompanying partnership with MYOB will allow it to service small and medium businesses alongside big corporates. “What MYOB does for us is really allow us to democratize that right down to SMEs who really don’t get the love and attention that maybe some of the bigger enterprises do,” Mr. Cohen said.

The latest funding round also is also backed by US venture capital firm Point72 Ventures, local investment fund Acorn Capital and prominent local investor David Fite and brings the total raised by the startup to $51.5 million.

“We think that COVID presented an opportunity [for companies] where they’re providing more than just a paycheck for employees,” Mr. Windon said. “We’re looking at how we can enhance our benefits platform with an employee-centric lens.”

MYOB’s general manager of financial services, Andrew Baines, said the partnership with Flare added to MYOB’s product suite for customers seeking to onboard and engage their workforce.

“The Australian workforce is undergoing a huge transformation and we want to lead with financial solutions that make employment and onboarding easier for business owners as they keep our economy moving,” Mr. Baines said.

“Going into a pandemic you don’t know the impact, but in hindsight, you get a wonderful vision into what employees need and most businesses need to deal with the total change in the environment,” he said. “What you’ve got here with COVID is a change in work patterns in the way that people work, the notion of remote working, and the need for the digitization of the workplace.”

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