Personio secures $200 million at $8.5 billion valuation as its small business HR hits big strides

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Personio — a startup from Munich, Germany that bills itself as Workday and ServiceNow, targeting SMBs around the world — has cut funding due to the Covid-19 pandemic after recruiting, payroll, HR management, development and training. , workflow automation, and other HR tools are especially popular among organizations with remote or distributed teams. raised Near $400 million within one year to meet this demand.

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Now, as more companies move some of their operations back to offices and hybrid environments, Personio is redoubling its efforts. The company received another $200 million at a new $8.5 billion valuation, making it one of the most valuable startups in Europe at the moment.

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The funding will be used both to further grow its customer base, which currently stands at 6,000 companies with over 500,000 employees, and to improve its platform, in particular with more automation tools to improve how companies execute internal operations.

Technically, the financing is the second Series E close following the first tranche. $270 million which closed in October.

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When it first closed, Personio was valued at $6.3 billion. Despite price increases, Personio is experiencing some valuation pressure that people have been talking about and writing about, but nothing more than that, acknowledged CEO and co-founder Hanno Renner.

“After this increase in October, we doubled our revenue, but our valuation only increased by 30%,” he said.

Greenoaks Capital Partners, which also led the first part of Series E, also led this round with other unnamed investors. (Previous sponsors also include Altimeter Capital, Alkeon, Index Ventures, Accel, Meritech, Lightspeed, Northzone, and Global Founders Capital.)

Renner said this additional funding proposal was on hold as early as October; he decided to do it now partly because of the investment climate – you don’t know what might be around the corner – and partly because he’s keen to invest as long as he continues to see more room for growth.

Personio’s basic premise is that its software is built specifically for SMBs and how they are most likely to use the software, with self-service integrations and no requirement for dedicated staff to support it.

It initially made its name with a limited set of recruiting, onboarding, and basic HR tools.

But as SMBs’ IT ambitions grow, so does Personio: The company has added third-party app integrations (of which there are now 100), and last year the company began expanding into workflow automation to help with task management, approval processes. , electronic signatures and other productivity tools.

This also led the company to make several acquisitions to expand this set, notably with the acquisition of another German startup called Back to improve and automate how teams manage tickets and knowledge within the company.

While Renner said the company will likely continue to expand the functionality of its platform, even as larger companies approach it, it is unlikely to change its target customer size from 10 to 2,000 employees.

“We see that the needs of small and medium-sized companies are very different from the needs of enterprises, and the solutions they require are different,” said Renner. “It’s not just about the money they’re willing to spend on IT, it’s about people investing in it. Enterprise solutions require dedicated staff who do nothing but implement and run the tool. We are ready in a couple of weeks with no additional resources needed to launch it. These types of solutions are just very different.”

Company tools may have come into their own during the pandemic, when businesses that previously handled operations in person suddenly found they needed more digital tools to keep people connected, but while people will likely be coming to physical offices again, this is unlikely. that as soon as HR functions go digital, they will also return to face-to-face communication. While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of competitors in the field, including companies like HiBob that also have ambitions to embrace end-to-end HR management as well as numerous point solutions, Personio’s popularity and general market trends have identified a great opportunity for investors.

“Personio has become an indispensable tool for European SMBs as they recovered from the challenges of the pandemic,” Neil Mehta, founder and managing partner of Greenoaks Capital, said in a statement. “As SMBs face the possibility of future economic uncertainty, Personio is a more important platform than ever to help clients make their HR and payroll processes more efficient and sustainable while keeping employees and employers happy. We believe that Personio is one of the best SaaS companies in the world with rapid growth, a strong business model, and exceptional leadership. We are very excited to work with Hanno and his team again and look forward to continuing our journey for years to come.”

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