To get ahead in the crowded $18 billion human resources software market, Oyster — which helps companies manage hiring, onboarding, and everyday HR tasks — is poaching executives from Facebook and the Bloom Institute of Technology (formerly known as Lambda School).
The 18-month-old startup snapped up Ellen Silver, former VP of operations at Facebook, to join Oyster as president, the company announced Tuesday. It also hired former Bloom Institute of Technology chief people officer Mark Frein to serve as its own chief people officer. As Oyster poises itself to take advantage of the global shift to distributed work, the new leadership will be tasked with growing the startup, Tony Jamous, founder and CEO of Oyster, tells Insider.
Backed by PayPal Ventures, Indeed’s HR Tech Investments affiliate, Emergence Capital, and the Slack Fund, Oyster raised $70 million in 2021 and is now valued at $475 million. Oyster hosts an HR platform dedicated to helping the enterprise manage employees in any location. It allows companies to hire full time employees and contractors without needing to establish a local entity or different payroll systems based on location.
Silver brings over a decade of experience at Facebook, and five years at eBay before that, to the company. After helping Facebook grow its base from about 250 million users to over 2.8 billion, Silver says she has similar growth ambitions for Oyster.
“I have seen a lot of the opportunities as well as some of the challenges that are natural byproducts of a hyper growth company and how they think about scaling,” Silver tells Insider.
But Oyster has a long way to go, as established competitors already dominate the HR platforms market. Workday is worth over $71 billion, and Ceridian is valued at more than $17 billion. Plus, the space is booming with other recent entrants like Bambee and Deel.
Focused on both financial and cultural growth, Oyster’s strategy is two-prong. Jamous tells Insider that Frein — who has also previously led people operations at collaboration tool InVision App and Validity-owned marketing platform Return Path — will be tasked with balancing these two growth paths.
“We want to balance that financial growth curve with employee well-being and culture,” Jamous says.