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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Deel, a three-year-old startup that helps companies hire internationally, has acquired German software startup Zeitgold. The deal comes just months after raising a $156 million Series C, Deel's second funding round since the pandemic began.

Why it matters: The future of work might not be in the home office for everyone, but hiring the best employees wherever they are in the world is an undeniable trend.

  • "It was always very obvious to me that there are good people everywhere," says Deel co-founder and CEO Alex Bouaziz, who grew up between France and Israel and later studied and worked internationally.

Details: Deel got its start helping companies hire contractors in other countries, but soon expanded to full-time employees.

  • Because it can be complex for a company (especially a smaller startup) to do that in some parts of the world, Deel acts as the local employing entity on behalf of its clients and its currently operating in at least 45 countries, with more on the way this year.
  • It now has 3,000 customers that have employed about 300,000 workers as either contractors or employees so far.
  • Deel declined to comment on the price tag for Zeitgold, which makes software that automates payroll, booking and other business functions, but Bouaziz says he's wanted to work with Zeitgold ever since the latter set up shop a few years ago at the co-working office he was running as a side hustle.
  • He adds that Deel is currently looking at a few near-term acquisition targets, with M&A being one of the main reasons for its recent Series C financing. "We didn't need more money," he adds.

The big picture: The debate is still raging over what the future of work will look like — independent of how the pandemic shakes out — but a number of companies and categories have benefited from the past year.

  • Virtual event software makers saved the day as every conference, big or small, had to move online. U.K.-based Hopin raised not one, but three VC rounds since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • New tools for communicating at work are cropping up everywhere as people try to figure out how to replace (and complement) face-to-face interactions at the office.
  • Employers are also rushing to offer workers all kinds of new benefits, from digital mental health apps, to perks like meal deliveries to makeup for the gourmet cafeterias they no longer have.

The bottom line: There's been a profound shift. "I started seeing a lot of people trusting and treating their teams internationally as their 'team,'" Bouaziz says of the change since the days of international hiring being viewed as "outsourcing."

Go deeper

Businesses grapple with vax mandates and COVID policies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A growing number of U.S. companies have mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for employees. But in the absence of a federal mandate there's a wide variance in what’s happening — mandates for all, some, or none — with employee demands being put front and center thanks to the Great Resignation.

Why it matters: How companies answer questions about vaccines and return-to-work policies has wide ranging impacts — on the health of their employees, on where people live, and on the strategic direction of their businesses.

Updated 39 mins ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.