Personio acquires employee platform Back and opens two new offices

25 May 2022

From left: Back CEO Christian Eggert, Personio CEO Hanno Renner and Back CTO James Lafa. Image: Janina Laszlo

Personio, which has a growing base in Dublin, is opening offices in Berlin and Barcelona and expanding its software offering with an acquisition.

HR software company Personio has acquired Back, a Berlin-based company developing an employee experience platform that automates key people processes to boost efficiency.

Personio said the deal will help it develop its People Workflow Automation software category, which it launched last year after it raised fresh funding and hit a valuation of $6.3bn. Added to a funding round in January 2021, this brought the start-up’s total funds raised to more than $500m.

Personio is developing all-in-one HR software for human resources, recruiting and payroll. Its People Workflow Automation is designed to support SMEs without the resources to build their own automated workflows.

Back’s software, meanwhile, helps teams to process employee requests and automate responses to recurring questions through conversational ticketing. The software lets employees submit requests and receive automated responses through channels such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Back said its platform helps teams save time to focus on more important tasks while improving the HR experience of employees, particularly in the world of remote and hybrid working.

“Back’s product and team are a great fit for us for two reasons,” Personio CEO Hanno Renner said. “Firstly, our customers will benefit from a one-stop shop for employee requests or questions. Secondly, the Back team have brilliant experience in building workflows that bring fragmented tasks together.

“They will be a core part of continuing to evolve Personio into a People Workflow Automation category leader that drives productivity across every aspect of a business by removing delays and ensuring opportunities are not missed.”

As part of the deal, Back’s existing products will be fully integrated into Personio’s system. Back founders, CEO Christian Eggert and CTO James Lafa, will join Personio as head of product and head of engineering, respectively.

“Back has always shared Personio’s vision to improve business performance through a focus on people operations and strategy,” Eggert said.

“Through working together over the past years, we’ve realised that a fully integrated approach to workflow management within a people platform like Personio would result in a much better experience for our customers and their employees.”

Personio has also announced the opening of new offices in Berlin and Barcelona to drive additional growth across Europe. Personio co-founder and CTO Arseniy Vershinin will relocate and become part of the Berlin leadership team.

The Munich-headquartered company was founded in 2015 and now also has locations in Madrid, London, Amsterdam and Dublin.

Personio set up a business and engineering hub in the Irish capital in 2020, and Renner told last year that there are plans for further growth in Dublin.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic