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An Australian startup that works with Uber and Amazon is expanding in the UK — despite Brexit

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Bullish on Britain: Ashik Ahmed, Deputy’s CEO/CTO, and cofounder. Photo: Deputy

An Australian tech startup that helps companies manage staffing schedules is planning to expand in the UK after raising £63m, ($81m, A$111m).

Sydney-based Deputy has raised the sum from Silicon Valley venture capital firm IVP, which has backed companies like Slack and Dropbox, as well as local Australian funds Square Peg Capital, OpenView, and EVP. It is the biggest “Series B” round — the second institutional funding round for a tech startup — in Australia to date.

Deputy is a tech platform that helps companies interact with part-time and hourly-paid staff. Its app helps with things like employee rotas, tracking time worked, and communicating with staff. Deputy has offices in Sydney, the UK, and the US, and works with the likes of Uber, Amazon, and Jaguar Land Rover.

Ashik Ahmed, the CEO and cofounder of Deputy, said the new funds would be used to expand his business across Europe and the US, with a particular focus on the UK.

Ahmed told Yahoo Finance UK he saw “significant opportunity” in Britain as around 60% of employees are on hourly wages.

Plans to invest in the UK market come despite the looming uncertainty of Brexit. Ahmed said: “I don’t think Brexit will have that much of an impact on [businesses’] decision as to go there or not. The opportunity is still very large.”

The UK is definitely a great opportunity for any of the businesses that have come out of Australia or other parts of the world,” Ahmed said. “It’s still four times the size of Australia in terms of GDP so the market opportunity is definitely there.”

Deputy currently employs 12 people in the UK, out of a global staff of around 200. Asked about hiring plans in Britain, Ahmed said: “Definitely it will scale but I couldn’t possibly give you a number. It could double, it could quadruple.”

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Oscar Williams-Grut covers banking, fintech, and finance for Yahoo Finance UK. Follow him on Twitter at @OscarWGrut.

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