Seso is building software to fix farm workforces and solve agriculture’s HR woes

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Migrant workers are a critical labour force for U.S. farms, but getting them present connected due H-2A visas tin beryllium complicated, and nan compliance surrounding these labor is taxing for farms. Seso was founded 5 years agone to thief streamline that process and now looks to grow into a one-stop-shop HR level for nan agriculture industry.

Michael Guirguis co-founded nan startup aft his relative asked for his proposal connected whether aliases not her integrated workplace should expand. Despite request for her harvests, Guirguis, whose full profession has progressive occupation creation and nan labour market, told her expanding wouldn’t beryllium smart because nan industry’s labour shortage would make hiring capable workers hard.. That inspired Guirguis to recovered Seso to automate nan H-2A visa process to thief hole that rumor and thief farms enactment compliant. Once he started talking to imaginable workplace customers, he realized that farms could usage a batch much thief pinch their HR beyond conscionable uncovering workers.

“When it comes to nan backmost office, each workplace we visited had thousands of filing cabinets,” Guirguis said. “It’s 1 of nan astir laggard industries successful nan U.S. That was nan eye-opening moment. We tin reside nan labour shortage and build an end-to-end modern operating strategy starting pinch HR and modernize a batch of these really analyzable tasks.”

The startup conscionable raised $26 cardinal to grow its platform’s capabilities. The Series B information was led by Bond’s Mary Meeker pinch information from Index Ventures, NFX, SV Angels, respective Seso customers, and others. The institution doubled its customer guidelines successful 2023 and useful pinch 27 of nan largest 100 agriculture employers successful nan U.S.

While agriculture is simply a monolithic manufacture ripe for disruption, it’s been comparatively reticent to adopt caller technology, he said. Guirguis thinks Seso has been successful successful trading to farms truthful far, erstwhile galore different startups haven’t been, because Seso isn’t trying to alteration nan existent farming process, thing farmers made clear to him that they weren’t fresh for yet. Adopting backmost agency tech, is an easier sell.

“Your HR squad is successful nan backmost agency doing accepted HR work,” Guirguis said. “That is who we are trying to alteration behaviour for, which is easier than for personification 50 years successful nan section still utilizing pen and paper. They tin still support doing their process we person built products to adapt. You tin return a image of a [hand-written] clip expanse and past usage AI to make judge that is accurate.”

Guirguis’s attraction connected getting feedback from farmers straight is what pushed Nina Achadjian, a partner astatine Index Ventures, to invest. Achadjian initially passed connected Seso erstwhile it first tried to raise from Index, but really nan institution sells and interacts pinch farmers changed her mind.

“I retrieve this 1 customer call, I sewage chills,” Achadjian told TechCrunch. “[He said], ‘I get sounded by these Silicon Valley entrepreneurs each nan clip and they show up astatine your workplace and they are like, ‘Here is really you should tally their business.’ I ever inquire each of them to travel and walk a time and activity alongside maine truthful they tin understand what is simply a time successful nan life of nan extremity customer and they ne'er show up. Michael was nan only 1 who showed up astatine 4 a.m. successful nan freezing cold, successful nan dark, to prime artichokes.’”

That feedback from farmers is why nan institution is expanding into automating payroll next. Guirguis said owed to various agriculture employment laws, workplace payroll is incredibly complicated. Workers are paid for really overmuch harvest they pick, Guirguis said and nan complaint for each harvest picked is different for a migrant worker versus a home worker and different again if migrant workers and home workers are picking from nan aforesaid field. Guirguis sees galore ways to grow aft that.