Germany’s Personio raises $125m for its HR automation software

18 Jan 2021

Personio chief executive Hanno Renner. Image: Personio

The company, which has a sales and engineering base in Dublin, plans to double its global headcount to 1,000 this year.

Personio, the HR tech start-up, has raised $125m in a new funding round that values the company at $1.7bn.

The Munich-based company develops a software platform for automating and managing HR, recruitment and payroll functions for small and medium-sized businesses.

The round was led by Index Ventures and new backer Meritech, with existing investors Accel, Northzone and others participating.

Personio said it will invest the funds in further development and expansion of its product in Europe, entering the French and Italian markets, and launching Personio Marketplace, a feature for integrating with other workplace tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.

According to the company, it doubled its revenue last year with 3,000 SMEs in Europe using its software. It now plans to double its staff numbers from 500 to 1,000 in 2021 across its four offices. The unicorn start-up has acquired one company to date to fuel its growth – Rollbox in 2019 – but ruled out any further acquisitions for now.

Personio opened a Dublin outpost for sales and engineering in early 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold, and plans to eventually open a physical office in the city. The Irish operation is headed up by chief revenue officer Geraldine MacCarthy, previously a senior employee at Dropbox and Google.

Chief executive Hanno Renner said the new funding round was “pre-emptive” to meet oncoming demands, with the company still being well funded after raising $75m this time last year.

“While the past year has proven difficult for many industries and businesses, it has at the same time accelerated the digitisation of small and mid-sized businesses. It has also showcased the important role of HR teams, especially while so many of us continue to work remotely,” Renner said.

“This pre-emptive investment comes earlier than we had anticipated, as we’re still well funded from our previous round in January 2020,” he added. “Such strong interest and support from our investors demonstrates not only the value of Personio’s offering, but also the huge potential the business has for further development and growth in the future. We are only scratching the surface of the market potential.”

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin