TaskUs gets $15-million capital from PHL private equity firm

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BUSINESS-process outsourcing (BPO) company TaskUs has raised fresh capital aimed at expanding its network while improving client service globally.

The world’s leading customer support outsourcing firm for fast-growing start-ups announced on Wednesday that it closed a $15-million deal with Navegar, a Philippine-based private equity fund whose partners were founders of the call-center industry.

“This is the first time we’ve taken any outside funding, and we sought out Navegar as a partner because of its deep roots in our sector,” said Bryce Maddock, CEO and cofounder of TaskUs.

“This funding allows us to invest heavily in our people, open offices in new geographies and integrate world-class technology into our service offering,” he added.

Founded in 2008 in Santa Monica, California, TaskUs provides outsourced omni-channel customer care and back office support to emerging companies globally.

The American outsourcing firm delivers customer care and back-office support to over 200 innovative and disruptive companies worldwide.

These include Uber, Groupon, Tinder and HotelTonight, among others.

Starting from small-scale operations, TaskUs has grown to a midsized company that is profitable with a $35-million revenue run rate.

“We’ve doubled revenue and headcount in the past five months, and we plan to triple our current revenue and headcount by the end of 2016,” Maddock said.

Such improved performance could be mainly attributed to its competent labor pool.

“The best talent delivers incredible results and that attracts more amazing clients. It’s a positive reinforcing cycle,” TaskUs President and Cofounder Jaspar Weir said.

“We are changing the way companies scale and greatly reducing their time to profitability, which increases their valuations and attractiveness to investors,” he said.

A partner at Navegar lauded both the TaskUs founders for employing “millennials” across the world.

“Simply put, there is no better company when it comes to serving the needs of the mobile-first generation,” said Nori Poblador, the fund’s comanager.

He cited the cofounders for envisioning a new standard for customer-service outsourcing and executed on that well.

“What was most interesting to us was that they are focused on creating delivery centers where employees are truly valued and treated just as well as employees are treated at tech startups in Silicon Valley,” he said of their decision to partner with TaskUs.

Navegar is a Manila-based private equity fund that invests exclusively in companies with exposure to the Philippines like TaskUs.

The latter set up shop here in 2009, and now owns and operates five centers across the country.

In a previous interview with the BusinessMirror, Maddock revealed their plan to invest $25 million in the Philippines over the next two years to further expand its footprint here, with the end goal of increasing its people to 10,000 by 2017.

However, he could not be reached for comment if the $15-million private equity funding from Navegar will be used for such a commitment on the back of robust local BPO industry.

Industry reports showed that the Philippine outsourcing sector had accounted for 6.2 percent to the nation’s total gross domestic product and reached the one-million full-time employment as of September last year.

Expectations remain bullish, given the projected revenue hike by around 15 percent to 18 percent from 2014 to 2016.

Next year, industry’s topline is seen to reach $25.5 billion from $24.5 billion last year, while employment is seen to increase from 1.3 million to 1.4 million for the periods in review.

Given the continued BPO investments by the government and investors’ confidence in the country, it is poised to partake 14 percent of the global industry share.

Even more compelling is the prospect for revenue to double by 2020, amounting to around$48 billion.

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Roderick L. Abad graduated from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, with a degree course in Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. He has 12 years of journalism experience, starting as a Special Features Writer in a major daily newspaper. In 2006, he moved to the BusinessMirror in the same capacity and, eventually, became a beat reporter. To his credit, he was a finalist in the 2011 Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction and the 2013 Lasallian Scholarum Awards. He remains affiliated with the BusinessMirror as a contributor.