Berlin-based HR start-up HiPeople raises $3m

22 Jan 2021

Sebastian Schüller and Jakob Gillmann. Image: HiPeople

The HR tech company was founded in 2019 and helps recruiters to hire remotely using automated reference checks.

HiPeople has raised $3m in seed funding to develop its recruitment tool. The investment comes from Atomico co-founder Mattias Ljungman’s new venture firm, Moonfire, as well as Capnamic Ventures and Cherry Ventures.

The Berlin-based start-up was founded in 2019 by Jakob Gillmann and Sebastian Schüller. Gillmann had previously worked for tech companies Peakon, Optimizely and Adjust. Schüller previously worked at Google in Dublin as a growth strategist and ran the Berlin office of an early-stage VC firm.

The latest round of funding follows a pre-seed round of $1.1m in 2019, ahead of the company’s product launch in 2020. HiPeople is a HR tech firm that automates candidate reference checks from request to collection and analysis.

It said the investment will be used to support growth so that more recruiters can hire remotely using automated reference checks. The company’s founders believe that CVs are a “weak link” in the recruitment chain.

“CVs are surprisingly limited and provide few insights on the candidate,” said Gillmann. “Reference checks allow you to dive deeper into the candidate’s past performance and experience and make it easier to understand [they fit] the job you are trying to fill.”

The growth of HR tech

Schüller said Covid-19 and 2020 as a whole had an enormous effect on how companies hire and the role technology plays in the recruitment process. “Tomorrow’s way of hiring became today’s reality,” he added.

According to a 2020 Blissfully report, SaaS spending on HR tech has grown and there are more opportunities ahead. Earlier this week, HR tech start-up Personio raised $125m in a new funding round that valued the company at $1.7bn.

Ljungman, who left Atomico in 2019 to start his seed fund Moonfire, said: “The Covid-influenced reality of remote work, hence remote hiring practices, has increased the complexity of finding the right talent. HiPeople created a way to enable anybody who is hiring to make better decisions, whilst improving processes and increasing hiring velocity.”

HiPeople’s customers include fintech firm SumUp, content management system GraphCMS and data mining unicorn Celonis. Schüller said the company is working on new AI-driven features that will aim to “increase the product’s intelligence”.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic