Cadana Raises $7.4M to enhance Payroll in new markets for HR platforms

Global hiring platforms leverage Cadana’s APIs and white-label payroll solutions to accelerate expansion into emerging markets and offer a better experience for workers


Cadana, a global payroll technology company that specializes in emerging markets, today announced it raised $7.4 million in funding to date led by Costanoa Ventures with participation by Better Tomorrow Ventures and 500 Startups. Cadana has purpose-built payroll APIs and a white-label product suite that global talent marketplaces and HR platforms can use to improve their payroll services for workers across more than 30 emerging economies including Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil, Pakistan, UAE and Nepal. The funds will be used to expand its team, accelerate product development and scale into new markets.

The global freelancer market is a $1.3 trillion industry fuelled by over 200 million global knowledge workers, creating a need for solutions that automate payroll and streamline employment and tax regulations globally. However, most solutions currently don’t build for the financial infrastructure of emerging markets where employment laws are more nuanced. It puts companies at risk of breaking local labor laws, while the experience for workers also suffers. Remote workers often wait up to seven days for wages and then lose 5-7% in remittance fees, which is a problem that disproportionately affects emerging economies.

“Both my co-founder and I grew up in emerging markets, so we understand the unique challenges for workers in these regions and the difficulties receiving timely payments,” said Albert Owusu-Asare, CEO and co-founder of Cadana. “Workers in these regions support multiple family members and delays in payments and high remittance fees are unnecessary setbacks. Most solutions focus on streamlining the experience for the payroll administrator with little emphasis on the worker experience. We’ve built payroll solutions that facilitate a better experience for both.”

Traditionally, global hiring platforms rely on fragmented third-party affiliates with antiquated processes, to navigate the nuances of employment law in emerging markets, leading to inefficient operations and increased legal risks. Cadana’s APIs and white-label products allow global workforce platforms to easily manage payments and payroll with seamless integration into their existing systems. Cadana built a network of highly localized infrastructure to ensure compliance with all local employment and tax regulations, reducing fraud and liabilities from the inadvertent breaking of local employment laws.

“While the U.S. has seen a surge in tech platforms aiming to streamline payroll and benefits, the vast majority fall far short of addressing the unique challenges faced by employees and employers in emerging markets,” said Amy Cheetham, partner at Costanoa Ventures. “Albert and Ameer have built exactly that, a purpose-built suite of white label products and APIs for emerging markets to power the next generation pay experience for millions of workers. This is why we’re so excited about what Cadana can do for the global payroll industry.”

Over the past 18 months, Cadana has powered more than $150 million in transactions across 32 countries while saving workers more than $2.5 million in fees. The benefits of Cadana include:

  • Developer-friendly no-code white-label products, low-code UI components and modular APIs to directly manage contracts, gross-to-net calculations, payroll, payments, invoices, etc.
  • Real-time payments with fees under $3 compared to the standard time of one week with 5-7% in fees.
  • Direct connection to millions of local banks, mobile money accounts and e-wallets in Africa, LATAM and Asia.
  • Consolidated Employer of Record (EOR) services to eliminate the need to work across fragmented in-country partners.
  • Options for workers to withdraw funds via more than eight methods including mobile money, bank accounts, cards, etc.
  • Opportunities for workers to invest in USD-denominated assets like stocks and access to virtual cards, USD balances, cash advances, etc.

Cadana was founded in 2021 by Albert Owusu-Asare, an immigrant from Ghana, and Ameer Shujjah, an immigrant from Pakistan. Prior to Cadana, both co-founders started their careers working in fintech for some of the world’s leading financial institutions.

For more information about Cadana, please visit

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