Justworks looks to help DC companies manage payroll, benefits

The New York–based company updates progress since expanding to D.C. more than a year ago.

Justworks CEO Isaac Oates. (Courtesy photo)

Justworks is based in New York City, but the company has been looking to raise its D.C. profile since expanding in 2016.

The company, a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO, helps businesses centralize tasks associated with payroll, compliance and other human resources functions in one place. The idea is that the companies then don’t need an in-house department dedicated to that role. Partnerships with inDinero and LawTrades also provide a way to offer accounting and legal services.

Along with hosting events like Justwomen DC, the company has expanded its D.C. customer base, even as it does not have any employees in the area. The company works with nonprofits, tech startups, consulting shops and small businesses. The PEO solution gives smaller entities access to a wide range of HR services whether they have two to four employees, or more than 100. Some of the startups and agencies that count themselves as customers include Savvy Apps, Artemis Ward, and Axios.

“The broader D.C. metro area is now home to a bustling tech and startup community,” said Isaac Oates, CEO of Justworks, and a veteran of Amazon and Etsy. “These types of high-potential, high-growth companies have traditionally been a great fit for Justworks, and we’re good at meeting their varied needs to access benefits, payroll, HR support and compliance in a scalable way,” said Oates.

Among the customers is Adrian Rich, principal of Simple Technology Solutions, Inc. His company, a 25-person local government contracting business, initially had three people dedicated to a role in HR and administration.

“We managed benefits via internal resources. We had a Director of Operations. But we needed to find ways to provide the full complement of employee benefits that allowed us to compete with other companies in the market,” said Rich, who found the company through a web search.

Founded in 2012, the company is backed by a total of $93 million in funding. Earlier this year, Justworks announced a $40 million Series D financing round. An additional investment from Spark Capital was announced last week, though the amount was not disclosed.

Along with growing its D.C. customer base, Justworks’ next goal might be the biggest yet: giving others in the space like Zenefits, Paychex, TriNet and ADP a true run for their money.


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