Having attracted its 500th client by focusing on Canada, Wagepoint last month launched in the U.S. and is now offering its online payroll service in all 50 states.
Wagepoint offers an affordable solution to help businesses perform all the tasks associated with payroll through a single solution. That means that small and medium-sized businesses can use Wagepoint to pay employees, deduct taxes, keep records of their payments and similar functions.
The company has assembled an impressive client list since launching in June 2013, handling more than $120 million in paycheques, and its business has doubled in the past six months. CEO Shrad Rao has known that it had to move into international markets, but that’s hard because of so many tax codes from many levels of government.
“We’re now in all 50 states in the U.S., which is an accomplishment because it means we deal with 13,000 tax codes,” said Rao in an interview from Toronto late last month. “We have a very good team, and we’ve been able to find people who understand all these tax codes.” He said one of the company’s keys to success has been finding people will experience in human resources and payrolls and who understand the technology used in the fields.
Wagepoint was formed in Halifax two years ago. Though it is now headquartered in Waterloo, Ont., it has retained a presence in Nova Scotia, employing four people in Halifax and Amherst to handle customer service and operations. It also has a few Nova Scotian investors, advisers and customers.
It also has customers in the region, including Halifax-based Analyze Re, which provides risk management services to the reinsurance industry.
"We have been using Wagepoint since June 2013 and are very happy with it," said Co-Founder Shivram Rajdev in a statement provided by Wagepoint. "Wagepoint's on boarding process was quick, the customer service is excellent and the costs are reasonable for a start-up such as ours. It takes me literally 30 seconds to do my payroll and this is very important to me given the time constraints for other critical tasks."
Wagepoint recently graduated from Hyperdrive, the accelerator program at Communitech, the startup hub in Kitchener-Waterloo. It has also been accepted into the Canadian Technology Accelerator in New York, one of the federal government’s three accelerator programs in the U.S.
The advantage of entering the New York program – the other two are in Boston and San Francisco – is that New York is of course the financial capital of the U.S. so it is an excellent place for developing business networks and finding mentors.
“We want to grow into a very large company,” said Rao. “We know the U.S. is a very large market so we have to learn how to grow there. We’re now trying to march toward the 1,000 customer mark and we will keep investing in Canada.”