How Bytez is helping transform the future of AI with Gusto Global, powered by Remote

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Bytez at a glance

Headquarters: California, USA
Founded: 2018
Industry: AI

Using Bytez’ vast database of models, developers and other innovators can search for the open source code, research, or datasets they need. They can then customize the model and incorporate it into their own products.

“It’s a very mission-driven and exciting company that’s specifically focused on open source models, which we feel is the future of AI development,” says Holly Peck, the company’s co-founder and head of product. “We’re bridging the gap between research and production and building a platform that really facilitates the finding and discovery of open source models and AI.”

Discovering Gusto Global

Peck, a Vancouver, Canada-based technologist and AI expert, originally joined Bytez as an advisor to Nawar Alsafar and Scott Brave, two US-based entrepreneurs. But with the company raising seed funding, the trio decided to bring her in as a third co-founder.

With Peck in a different country, this posed a significant problem. Bytez needed a quick, compliant, and cost-effective HR solution.

“We are a fledgling startup closing our pre-seed round, and we are ultimately optimizing for speed and cost,” says Peck. “So setting up an entity — with the money and investment involved — wouldn’t work for us. We needed a lightweight solution that could bring me on quickly.”

To onboard and pay Peck as an employee, the company opted to use an employer of record (EOR). Bytez was already using Gusto for its US payroll, so when Gusto Global, became available, it was a perfect fit. 

“Gusto Global allowed us to quickly onboard me as an international employee and founder, and removed the administrative and compliance burden,” she says. “It allowed us to focus on developing the product and scaling the company. For us, it’s been incredible.”

The onboarding experience

As a Canadian tech entrepreneur who has previously founded companies in the US, Peck is familiar with EORs. Working with them hasn’t always been a pleasant experience, though. 

“I’d used a number of EOR competitors in past situations so I knew what we should be looking for,” she explains. “With Gusto Global, I was so pleasantly surprised. This integration gives us low-friction self service and total price transparency. It was a perfect fit for our use case.”

According to Peck, the onboarding process was impressively simple. She also had a unique vantage point, as she was able to experience Gusto Global as both an employer and an employee.  This was crucial, she says, to dovetail with the kind of excellent employee experience Bytez wants to provide for all its new hires.

“For me, as the employee, it was the best onboarding I’ve ever had,” she says. “And I was pleasantly surprised by Remote’s account management and support to guide me through.”

“I couldn’t believe how fast it was to upload everything to the platform. It was just the most fantastic experience.”

Another bonus was the seamless integration with the company’s existing Gusto setup.

“For us, the integration within the Gusto interface provided the easiest, most brilliant self-service experience,” says Peck. “Everything was within the platform and it was so simple to progress through the whole process.”

Complying with international labor laws

As such a product-focused team, cross-border compliance concerns can be a sizable distraction. But with Gusto Global, every aspect of international hiring — from employment law to tax — is taken off the company’s plate, allowing Bytez to focus on its mission. 

“Staying in line with the regulatory nuances of a particular geography is very important,” says Peck. “But as a co-founder, I’m laser focused on bringing a product to market, not understanding employment law.

“Through Gusto and Remote, we’re effectively getting a tax and compliance co-pilot, which is a huge benefit. I can trust the team of experts to handle everything while we focus on the important stuff, like building the product and hiring a team in different markets.”

Transparent pricing

As a pre-seed startup, Bytez has to be hyper-vigilant of its budget. And Gusto Global’s flat, transparent pricing — with no hidden fees — is a key part of this. 

“Price transparency is massively important for budgeting, especially budgeting across teams,” she says. This is particularly important for Peck, who has dealt with hidden fees from other EORs in the past.

“There are so many things that you don’t think about as a founder and having financial surprises will end up hurting you if you’re not completely aware,” she says. “Gusto Global gives us that clarity and we always know what we’re going to pay, including the currency conversion.”

Access to global talent

For any startup, access to a wider talent base across different countries is a huge advantage. For Peck, the ability to find driven, brilliant people in underrepresented parts of the world is a huge benefit.

“As this integration matures, we’ll have the opportunity to access a global pool of incredibly talented people, and extend our budget as far as possible,” she says. “That’s really exciting for us.”

Bytez’ platform brings together the entire AI ecosystem, including the scientists that invent open source models, the developers that use them, and the vast community of AI researchers at universities across the world. For Peck, Gusto Global is the connective tissue that brings all of this talent together.

“It’s good for morale, it’s good for company culture and it allows employees to feel connected,” she says. “To have a single dashboard where you can access information easily is a great experience. It allows us to focus on the other million and one things that go into building a company, so we’re very appreciative of that.”

Because Bytez is focused on building a global company for the machine learning engineer community, Peck is also thrilled to see that Gusto Global is focusing on features that support that vision. 

“We feel grateful that Gusto is focused on building out these product features with Remote,” she says. “It’s very in tune with my vision of building a company which is remote first, and not constrained to a particular market or geography when hiring the best talent. It’s more democratic, it’s more exciting and frankly, it’s better.”

“It’s brilliant that Gusto and Remote are partnering to offer this solution. Two companies that could be seen as competitive have actually come together to solve a lot of problems for people. They’ve built a product that works so well, with such simplicity and scalability. It’s made us very happy and it’s a great customer experience for us.”

Moving into the future with Gusto Global, powered by Remote

Outside of Bytez, Peck has founded and grown the Women Who Code Vancouver chapter to more than 4,000 engineers, exposing her to a world of global talent.

“I have the privilege of having access to the largest technical community for women in the world,” she says. “And for me, using a tool like Gusto Global is a no-brainer. I’ve always wanted to find a platform that allowed me to build a remote global team in a way that’s simple, self-serve, and compliant. So I’m very happy we found this integration.”

It’s also an exciting time to be in AI. Peck believes that the technology is having a watershed moment, and she is delighted to help innovators get AI research out of the lab and into the market as quickly as possible — wherever in the world they are.

“Now that we have this infrastructure so easily integrated within Gusto, if we do meet these brilliant scientists or engineers at a conference, we’ll actually have the ability to hire them quickly and compliantly,” she says. “That’s a game changer for us.”

“Gusto Global powered by Remote means we’re unconstrained and can move really, really quickly to hire incredible people. That’s great at a company level and also very aligned with our mission.”

What’s next for Bytez?

Bytez will continue to innovate and grow, and drive its mission of helping companies and individuals to solve real-world problems through AI. And for Peck, the ability to hire internationally will continue to be a key part of that.

“My advice to other companies is to absolutely, without a doubt, explore the option to hire internationally,” she says. “Good talent can come from any corner of the world.”

Bytez is certainly taking advantage of the benefits of a global workforce — with the right support.

“Gusto Global, powered by Remote, makes this dead simple,” she adds. “It would be a missed opportunity not to pursue.”

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