Featured Founder: Matt Redler of Panther
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Matt Redler of Panther, which allows you to hire anyone, anywhere, in a click.
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
In 2019, Matt Redler and Vasil Popovski created Chefit, an app that made it easy to order from personal chefs. But they realized that what they were building was more than an app. Matt and Vasil were growing an incredible global team filled with talented people.
Sadly, Chefit closed during COVID-19, and after departing, our founders worked day and night to make sure that everyone landed on new opportunities. They talked with companies that wanted to hire their teammates but couldn't because they didn't have entities set up across Europe — nor did they had any interest in it. The process takes months if you're lucky, a year if you're not, is expensive and requires navigating a ton of foreign compliance.
So, Matt and Vasil offered that their entities proxy-hire our former team members on their behalf. And that's how Panther came to be.
The most significant consideration of the work-from-anywhere movement is that less expensive, highly talented global workforces are becoming the norm. We're humbled to build the bridges that facilitate distributed teams.
What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?
Employing a global remote workforce is complex, expensive, and labor-intensive. Doing so requires maintaining foreign entities in every employee's country.
Every time a company finds someone they want to hire in a jurisdiction they haven't previously employed from, they have to:
- buy or build a local branch, and register it as their foreign subsidiary
- File for local bank accounts, and fill them with the country's capital requirements
- Learn and keep track of the local employment laws
- Set up local payroll
- Hire local accounting, legal, and HR people
By the time the employer is ready, between 6 to 18 months have passed, the candidate is likely no longer on the market, and $80,000 has been spent. Setting up just one country.
We operate a global network of 150+ subsidiaries on behalf of our customers, so they don't have to. Everything related to international payroll, compliance, benefits, and taxes is automated. With Panther, years of bureaucracy turn to minutes, and subsidiaries become a thing of the past — for a fraction of the cost.
Global employment, and leave the tricky bits to us.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
Our prior company was failing, and it looked like the investment markets were going to get real quiet with uncertainty around Covid. While some of our investors moved on, a handful changed our lives and decided to double down on us. That was the jumpstart to Panther.
Where do you see your company headed next?
By separating physical location from economic opportunity, Panther will radically expand the number of good jobs in the world and dramatically improve the quality of life for millions, if not billions, of people. We may, at long last, shatter the geographic lottery, opening up opportunities to countless people who weren't lucky enough to be born in the right place.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.
Solve a hair-on-fire problem.
Why Tampa Bay?
I get to live and work wherever I want in the world. Tampa Bay is my home because of its beauty, community, and growth.