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Seattle startup Legalpad acquired by payroll and compliance giant Deel

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Legalpad CEO Todd Heine. (Legalpad Photo)

Legalpad, a Seattle startup that helps companies apply for visas on behalf of international talent, has been acquired by Deel, a San Francisco company that sells software to facilitate hiring and paying of employees on global teams.

Founded in 2018, Legalpad helps American businesses automate and simplify the process of submitting work visa applications for foreign-born employees.

Deel is a 3-year-old Y Combinator company backed by Andreessen Horowitz. It reportedly raised a $50 million round earlier this year at a $12 billion valuation.

“As work becomes more distributed and global, together we can solve the immigration challenges employers face when building a global workforce,” Deel said in a blog post about the deal.

The two companies first intertwined after Deel co-founder and CEO Alex Bouaziz used Legalpad to get a visa. Legalpad then used Deel when it hired its first contractor outside the U.S.

Legalpad CEO Todd Heine wrote in a blog post: “Fast forward to 2022, when Deel’s enormous growth and Legalpad’s steady success got us asking the exciting question: What if Deel and Legalpad united our aligned missions to connect talent across borders and to create a world where ability alone determines opportunity?”

Heine called the deal a “very natural step in our journey as a company.”

“Great fit, awesome company, global reach, cultural fit, shared vision/mission, high level of mutual respect, both remote-first companies,” Heine told GeekWire via email.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Axios first reported on the acquisition.

Before helping launch Legalpad with Sara Itucas and Brandon Bloom, Heine worked as an attorney advising businesses on cross-border employment, tax, immigration, and corporate law.

Legalpad, a 2018 Techstars Seattle grad, raised $10 million in 2020 in a Series A round led by Texas venture capital firm Amplo. Other backers include Global Founders Capital, 8VC, Liquid 2 Ventures, Tekton Ventures, Gaingels, Collate Capital, and angel investors. Total funding to date is $14.6 million.

The company’s 70-person team is staying aboard through the acquisition.

Legalpad is similar to Seattle-based Boundless but Legalpad focuses on companies rather than individuals navigating the immigration process.

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