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Safeguard Global Acquires Global Upside to Expand EOR Services


Safeguard Global acquired Global Upside Corporation, a global expansion, technology, and services company based in San Jose, CA on January 25, 2022.

Global Upside specializes in EOR services, new entity incorporation, human resources, accounting, payroll, and tax & compliance solutions. The country footprint across both organizations is well aligned. This acquisition will add ~500 employees to the existing 1,100 Safeguard Global employees, to create a combined organization comprised of 1,600 employees. Global Upside has been rebranded as Safeguard Global.

Significant to this acquisition will be the ability for Safeguard Global to provide additional services to enrich its EOR offering, specifically adding front-end HR capabilities such as recruitment and in-country entity set-up expertise, to ensure clients are prepared for the future of work. Safeguard Global currently delivers onboarding, in-country compliance, HR technology, and centralized payroll services.

The acquisition of Global Upside positions Safeguard Global as one of the largest providers in terms of revenues in the EOR marketplace. NelsonHall estimates the combined EOR 2021 revenues for both organizations were $65m.

The acquisition of Global Upside supports the Safeguard Global ‘Work in Any Way’ workforce management vision, which considers where, when, and how people work to assure a people-centric, flexible, inclusive, and diverse organizational culture. The complementary service offerings provided by Global Upside will be valuable to organizations when they have determined that a market is suitable for a permanent in-country entity.

NelsonHall views this acquisition as a service expansion to support Safeguard Global’s end-to-end global growth journey. It anticipates synergies between the client portfolios to enable cross-selling opportunities. For example, in 2021, Safeguard Global had 72 EOR clients that opened new entities in ~100 countries. The clients leveraged their internal HR organizations to organize and complete the logistics of establishing these new entities. Moving forward, Safeguard Global will have the ability to provide these and additional direct services that will enable internal client resources to focus on strategic initiatives and core functional responsibilities.

Safeguard Global has a history of acquisitions, including GEDA in 2020, and WorkFor Group and AdminMe in 2019. The acquisition of Global Upside firmly cements the organization as a leader in the global EOR market.

Several other EOR vendors have made similar acquisitions to extend their capabilities, including:

  • Velocity Global acquired iWorkGlobal in April 2021 and Shield GEO in July 2021
  • TopSource Global Solutions and PEO Worldwide merged to form TopSource Worldwide in August 2021
  • Deel acquired Roots, an HR software company, in January 2022.

The rapid increase in remote working combined with the impact of the ‘Great Resignation’ has contributed to a high level of Global EOR market activity and client interest. NelsonHall expects more acquisitions in the global EOR market in the year ahead to support rapid growth and capability expansions.

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