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There’s no question that geographic borders matter less than ever—corporations now have vast global supply chains and employees and offices all over the world. But while good for companies, bringing in foreign employees is tough for Human Resources—it requires navigating the maze of paperwork necessary for work visa applications.
Handling and tracking piles of documents and forms for each applicant is overwhelming for small HR departments, while immigration lawyers are expensive. And the process is finicky—a single error can derail the whole application. Teleborder aims to make navigating the bureaucracy easier for companies by streamlining the process.
“When we wake up in the morning we’re thinking about how we can make borders matter less for employees,” says James Richards, co-founder and CEO of Teleborder.
Richards’ passion has personal roots. All four members of the Teleborder team hail from outside the United States—Indonesia, Dubai, London and Australia, among other places. The company takes inspiration from the founders’ own experiences navigating life as foreign workers. They know that companies need a process to facilitate the entry and retention of immigrant employees to help the best people go where the best opportunities are—like they did.
Free movement of labor
Richards grew up in Indonesia, leaving to attend college in London at age 16. After two years of study, he enrolled at Columbia Law School. He earned his law degree, passed the bar and landed a job at a big corporate law firm all before his 21st birthday, surprising everyone when he left the firm after just three years.
“The business model through which law is delivered is fundamentally wrong,” he says of the exorbitant costs and duplicative efforts he observed. “It makes no sense to have thousands of independent contractors running around inventing the wheel for every procedure when an intermediary can pool resources, increase efficiency, and pass along savings to the end user.” Realizing he needed to align his cost-saving SaaS approach with a specific vertical, Richards honed in on immigration, an area rife with challenges that would allow him to achieve an even greater good—helping move working people around the world.
“The reality of global immigration is that it’s driven by highly leveraged employees at highly leveraged companies,” Richards says. “With the push of a button we’re going to enable the free movement of labor.”
How Teleborder works
With Teleborder’s real-time tracking and flat-fee model, companies can save time and cost while handling all immigrant staffing tasks through a single dashboard. HR departments simply sign in and invite potential employees to meet on the Teleborder dashboard. There, the system presents visa options, collects necessary forms and papers and files them all the appropriate immigration offices. From there, HR can keep track of status changes for each application. Businesses can also enter data on employees with temporary work permits; Teleborder reminds HR when they are about to expire.
It’s “kind of like Fedex,” Richards says. “It’s a magic piece of middleware. You just tell us the name of a person and where he needs to go and we’ll get him there. We’ll handle all of it.” What was once a costly logistical nightmare for HR professionals and lawyers of moving people around the globe is now a “totally generic process that we can do for everybody,” Richards says.
Employees without borders
Teleborder launched by handling inbound immigration to the United States—a service in demand for technology firms. While Teleborder’s “sweet spot” is companies with around 100 employees, the team is working with businesses of all sizes—including some Fortune 500 corporations—and new customers approaching them with large accounts, Richards says.
“Early adopters want to use us as their single provider to handle global mobility across their organization … their Oracle or Workday for international movement of labor,” he says. “We want to be the category-defining company for global mobility.”
Looking ahead, Teleborder plans to bring the platform to workers and businesses worldwide."In five years we want to be servicing 50 countries and be the primary way that the leading companies in each country moves their people across borders," Richards says.
Teleborder is conducting a Regulation D offering via Wefunder Advisors LLC. CRD Number: #167803.
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