Borderless AI makes its Cohere-powered HR agent free to use

Borderless AI co-founders Wilson Cross and Sean Aggarwal.
As part of the Cohere Startup Program, Borderless hopes to attract new customers by opening up its AI offering.

Toronto-based Borderless AI, which provides cross-border payroll solutions and an HR platform, has made its artificial intelligence (AI)-based HR agent free to use. 

Alberni’s free HR features include international expense reimbursements, time off and vacation management, and AI-generated employment agreements.

Borderless AI’s HR agent, Alberni, was developed with the large language model (LLM) created by Toronto-based OpenAI rival Cohere. Business, contractor, and employee users can now go onto Borderless AI’s website, create an account, and consult Alberni by asking employment law questions or asking it to generate reports for their linked business. 

In an exclusive interview, Borderless AI co-founder and CEO Willson Cross likened opening up Alberni access to the launch of Zestimate in 2006 by online real-estate marketplace Zillow, a free calculator for people to calculate the value of their home. 

“The hope was that lots of people use it, and a lot of those people would then become customers over time,” Cross said. “So our AI agent is completely free […] when customers have an international payroll need, our core business, that’s where we make money.” 

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Alberni’s free HR features include international expense reimbursements, time off and vacation management, and AI-generated employment agreements, which Cross said was one of the most popular features. 

Cross added that Alberni was previously behind closed beta-testing doors, with customers needing to contact Borderless to gain access, and has opened those doors up with Cohere’s help. Borderless AI is one of the companies in Cohere’s recently unveiled Startup Program, which aims to help pre-Series B firms leverage AI at an affordable price point. 

Cross notes that Cohere’s aim is to sell LLMs into enterprise, and Borderless AI acts as a channel into enterprise businesses. With information gathered from large Canadian firms such as PwC and Norton Rose, Borderless has “built the proprietary piping” in Alberni to leverage Cohere’s models and technology, such as its Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG). RAG is a method of text generation that fetches information from external data sources. 

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In a statement, Cohere CEO Aidan Gomez said he was excited Borderless is using Cohere’s model in the HR space. 

“Our models excel at key business capabilities like advanced RAG and multilingual support to help Borderless AI deliver real productivity and efficiency gains for the global HR market,” Gomez said. “We look forward to supporting Borderless AI in building business solutions that power the future of global HR.”

Borderless AI was founded in 2022 by Cross and chairman Sean Aggarwal, emerging from stealth this past March with $27 million in seed funding led by Susquehanna and Aglaé Ventures. Cross has previously co-founded and led GoFetch, a pet services platform he sold in 2018 shortly after raising $3.4 million. Aggarwal is also the former CFO of Trulia, and led the online real estate marketplace into an IPO and its acquisition by Zillow for $2.5 billion in 2015. 

The way Cross sees it, making Alberni free moves his company one step closer to taking on HR tech giants like Deel and Rippling. 

“Cohere is an underdog rivalling OpenAI, we’re a Canadian underdog rivalling Deel and Rippling,” Cross said. “So this is how we’re wedging our way into the market.” 

Feature image courtesy Borderless AI.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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