Oyster 🦄 journey in 6 Ps

Posted: 20 Apr 2022

From Problem to Purpose, how Oyster has become a unicorn in less than 24 months

Oyster, the global HR platform and Employer Of Record that empowers the hiring of distributed teams across borders, today announced $150 Million in Series C funding. The funding also establishes Oyster as a unicorn less than two years after our launch.

We were the first investor in Oyster, and as such, we’re obviously thrilled for the Oyster team about this milestone — but we’re not surprised. We’ve in fact believed in the Oyster vision and mission since inception — before Covid, before the world moved to remote work overnight. Call it having a prepared mind about the Future of Work theme; a mix of luck, instinct, and conviction; or simply an unabashed crush on Oyster’s founder, Tony Jamous; it feels like our paths were meant to cross.

As Oyster’s Seed Investor of Record (pun intended 😎), we’ve already written a lot about Connect and Oyster’s journey together.

At seed, I detailed why we invested in Oyster. At Series A, I shared the 10 moves Oyster made to land Emergence and Jason Green as the leading partner. And I recorded an intimate fireside chat with Tony about the company’s beginnings, inspiration, and beliefs.

Today I want to summarise how far they’ve come in such a short time by using my 6 Ps framework.

  1. Problem: Oyster solves a hard problem to solve at scale, which became exponentially important overnight: hiring for remote and distributed teams without the usual headaches or expenses.
  2. Product: The Oyster team built a beautiful SaaS product that people love, which is both easy to use and incredibly powerful. All your global hires, in one click.
  3. Platform: Oyster’s global infrastructure powers a top-notch HRIS system, including EOR, payroll benefits, and employee experiences and services.
  4. Pace: Oyster moves exceptionally fast. Funded in 2020, they were able to blitz into scalability, growing revenue by over 20x in 2021 and to 500ppl. The playbooks of new category creation and of land grabbing demand speed of execution to succeed.
  5. People: Everything starts and scales with people. Tony, the early team and the leadership team are all stellar. They basically are a Series F team in a Series C company. A big role in attracting them is their desire to contribute to the purpose of Oyster.👇👇
  6. Purpose: The 6th P is the one I particularly want to celebrate today. From the get-go, Oyster has put purpose above all else: to create a more equal world by making it possible for companies everywhere to hire people anywhere. Tony founded Oyster driven by the belief that distributing work opportunities worldwide can reduce the severe inequities in the world of work. Oyster tackles the lofty but very important mission of improving people’s health, communities, local economies, and even the environment by matching the right individuals with the right roles, regardless of geography. By enabling talent to stay in their communities, Oyster mitigates the harm caused by brain drain as well as accelerates local development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. At Connect we are entirely on the same page. We believe that software and venture are powerful sources for good that change people’s lives for the better, at scale. We are proud to have backed other purpose-driven propositions like Oyster that have a net positive impact on the world: Citymapper, Second Nature, Kheiron Medical, and more recently Ophelos, Keebo and Fair HQ.

There is one more “P” for luck… Pietro. There are in fact a few personal criteria that I use when partnering with new companies — and Tony and Oyster check them all:

  • I love working with visionary founders when we can start a journey together from the very beginning. ✅
  • I love category-defining SaaS products. ✅
  • I love taking part in building companies that create the world we want to live in and feeling like our job at Connect makes the world a little bit better, one product at a time.✅
  • Finally, I love Lebanese cuisine… and it turns out Tony is a great chef. ✅