Cadana, co-founded in 2021 by Ghanaian Albert Owusu-Asare (CEO) and Pakistani Ameer Shujjah (CTO), streamlines payroll for several talent marketplaces, staffing companies, and HR providers, enabling them to pay workers in over 32 emerging markets, including Nigeria and Ghana.

The company says it makes it easier for talents in Africa and other emerging markets to access global job opportunities.

Owusu-Asare and Shujjah, both US immigrants who met while in college as computer science and physics majors, initially established Cadana as an earned wage access (EWA) platform in specific African markets.

Soon after the company launched, however, they saw a bigger opportunity to solve a range of payroll frictions. So, instead of being the primary offering, salary-on-demand service became a part of a larger solution that provides global payroll software and services to businesses in emerging markets.

The $1.3 trillion global freelancer market, powered by more than 200 million knowledge workers, drives demand for solutions that automate payroll and streamline employment and tax regulations worldwide.

However, the legal hurdles of African and other emerging markets, such as differences in employment laws, make it difficult, if not impossible, for most existing products inadequate.

This challenge means global hiring platforms, which typically outsource payroll to third-party providers, are left to handle the complexities of local employment laws themselves.

This adds to the problems of remote workers in Africa, who often have to wait for as long as a week to receive their earnings, losing 5-7% in remittance fees.

Cadana claims its APIs and white-label products which let global workforces integrate payments and payroll management into their existing systems solve these problems.

Owusu-Asare told TechCrunch that Cadana customers in emerging markets are quite pleased with what they’ve built.

“We focused on creating a robust local infrastructure to address these issues. Over the past three years, we’ve integrated local payments, compliance, and benefits systems to serve our customers better and meet their needs,” he added.

Additionally, Cadana offers real-time payments with fees under $3 and options for workers to invest in USD-denominated assets like stocks.

Cadana’s competitors include UAE-based RemotePass, which also focuses on emerging markets. CEO Owusu-Asare argues that Cadana’s competitive advantage is its expertise in streamlining and accelerating remittance for talent in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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