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INTERNET | Internet Software & Services / HR & Workforce Management

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Founded Year



Seed VC | Alive

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Last Raised

$40K | 1 yr ago

About SESO

SESO is a platform to find agricultural workers. SESO provides employers with an end-to-end labor solution including recruiting and training, visa automation for the H-2A visa, and workforce management software.

SESO Headquarter Location

1003 Lombard St

San Francisco, California, 94109,

United States

Latest SESO News

SESO Labor is providing a way for migrant farmworkers to get legally protected work status in the US

Feb 19, 2021

EditorialTeam 8 min read As the Biden administration works to carry laws to Congress to deal with the endemic drawback of immigration reform in America, on the opposite facet of the nation a small California startup known as SESO Labor has raised $4.5 million to make sure that farms can have entry to authorized migrant labor. SESO’s founder Mike Guirguis raised the spherical over the summer season from buyers together with Founders Fund and NFX. Pete Flint, a founding father of Trulia, joined the corporate’s board. The firm has 12 farms it’s working with and is negotiating contracts with one other 46. The firm’s different co-founder, Jordan Taylor, was the first product rent at Farmer’s Business Network and beforehand of Dropbox. Working inside the current regulatory framework that has existed since 1986, SESO has created a service that streamlines and manages the method of getting H-2A visas, which permit migrant agricultural staff to reside quickly within the U.S. with authorized protections. At this level, SESO is automating the visa course of, getting the paperwork in place for staff and smoothing the applying course of. The firm prices about $1,000 per employee, however finally because it begins providing extra providers to staff themselves, Guirguis envisions a number of strong traces of income. Eventually, the corporate want to provide built-in providers for each farm homeowners and farm staff, Guirguis mentioned. SESO is presently anticipating to herald 1,000 staff over the course of 2021 and the corporate is, as of now, pre-revenue. The largest business participant dealing with employee visas at the moment presently brings in 6,000 staff per yr, so the competitors, for SESO, is market share, Guirguis mentioned. America’s sophisticated historical past of immigration and agricultural labor The H-2A program was set as much as enable agricultural employers who anticipate shortages of home staff to carry to the U.S. non-immigrant international staff to work on farms quickly or seasonally. The staff are lined by U.S. wage legal guidelines, staff’ compensation and different requirements, together with entry to healthcare underneath the Affordable Care Act. Employers who use the visa program to rent staff are required to pay inbound and outbound transportation, present free or rental housing and supply meals for staff (they’re allowed to deduct the prices from salaries). H-2 visas have been first created in 1952 as a part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which strengthened the nationwide origins quota system that restricted immigration primarily to Northern Europe, however opened America’s borders to Asian immigrants for the primary time since immigration legal guidelines have been first codified in 1924. While immigration rules have been additional opened within the sixties, the final main immigration reform bundle in 1986 served to limit immigration and made it unlawful for companies to rent undocumented staff. It additionally created the H-2A visas as a approach for farms to rent migrant staff with out incurring the penalties related to utilizing unlawful labor. For some migrant staff, the H-2A visa represents a golden ticket, in keeping with Guirguis, an honors graduate of Stanford who wrote his graduate thesis on labor coverage. “We are offering a staffing answer for farms and agribusiness and we wish to be Gusto for agriculture and upsell farms on a complete human assets answer,” says Guirguis of the corporate’s final mission, referencing payroll supplier Gusto. As Guirguis notes, most staff in agriculture are undocumented. “These are individuals who have been taken benefit of [and] the H-2A is a visa to carry staff in legally. We’re in a position to assist employers keep workforce [and] we’re constructing software program to assist farmers keep the farms.” Opening borders whilst they continue to be closed Farms want the assistance, if the most recent numbers on labor shortages are plausible, but it surely’s not essentially an absence of H-2A visas that’s guilty, in keeping with an article in Reuters. In truth, the variety of H-2A visas granted for agriculture gear operators rose to 10,798 from October by way of March, in keeping with the Reuters report. That’s up 49% from a yr in the past, in keeping with information from the U.S. Department of Labor cited by Reuters. Instead of an incapacity to accumulate the H-2A visa, it was an incapacity to journey to the U.S. that’s been inflicting issues. Tighter border controls, the persistent international pandemic and journey restrictions that have been imposed to fight it have all performed a job in maintaining migrant staff of their residence nations. Still, Guirguis believes that with the proper instruments, extra farms could be prepared to make use of the H-2A visa, chopping down on unlawful immigration and boosting the obtainable labor pool for the powerful farm jobs that American staff don’t appear to need. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images. David Misener, the proprietor of an Oklahoma-based harvesting firm known as Green Acres Enterprises, is one employer who has struggled to search out appropriate replacements for the migrant staff he usually hires. “They couldn’t fathom doing it and making it work,” Misener instructed Reuters, talking in regards to the American staff he’d tried to rent. “With H-2A, migrant staff make 10 occasions greater than they’d receives a commission at residence,” mentioned Guirguis. “They’re taking residence the equal of $40 an hour. The H-2A is coveted.” Guirguis thinks that with the proper incentives and a better onramp for farmers to handle the applying and approval course of, the variety of employers that use H-2A visas may develop to be 30% to 50% of the farm workforce within the nation. That means rising the variety of potential jobs from 300,000 to 1.5 million for migrants who could be underneath lots of the identical authorized protections that residents get pleasure from whereas they’re engaged on the visa. Protecting agricultural staff by way of higher paperwork Interest within the farm labor nexus and points surrounding it got here to the first-time founder by way of Guirguis’ expertise serving to his cousin begin her personal farm. Spending a number of weekends a month serving to her develop the farm together with her husband, Guirguis heard his tales about coming to the U.S. as an undocumented employee. Employers utilizing this system keep away from the legal responsibility related to being caught using unlawful labor, one thing that crackdowns underneath the Trump administration made extra widespread. Still, it’s onerous to disclaim this system’s roots within the darker previous of America’s immigration coverage. And some immigration advocates argue that the H-2A system suffers from the identical sorts of structural issues that plague the corollary H-1B visas for tech staff. “The H-2A visa is a short-term short-term visa program that employers use to import staff into the agricultural fields … It’s a part of a really antiquated immigration system that should change. The 11.5 million people who find themselves right here should be given citizenship,” mentioned Saket Soni, the founding father of a company known as Resilience Force, which advocates for immigrant labor. “And then staff who come from different nations, if we want them, they’ve to have the ability to keep … H-2A staff don’t have a pathway to citizenship. Workers come to us afraid of blowing the whistle on labor points. As a lot because the H-2A is a welcome reward for a employee it can be abused.” Gusto is increasing from payroll right into a full suite monetary wellness platform Soni mentioned the precarity of a employee’s state of affairs — and their dependence on a single employer for his or her potential to stay within the nation legally — means they’re much less more likely to converse up about issues at work, since there’s nowhere for them to go if they’re fired. “We are massive proponents that in case you want folks’s labor you need to welcome them as human beings,” Soni mentioned. “Where there’s a labor scarcity as folks come, they need to be allowed to remain … H-2A is an instance of an outdated immigration software.” Guirguis clearly disagrees and mentioned a platform like SESO’s will in the end create extra conveniences and higher providers for the employees who are available on these visas. “We’re attempting to place extra money within the fingers of those staff on the finish of the day,” he mentioned. “We’re going to be establishing remittance and banking providers. Everything we do needs to be mutually useful for the employer and the employee who’s attempting to get into this program and know that they’re not getting taken benefit of.” EditorialTeam

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