UPDATED 13:06 EST / JANUARY 18 2021

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Personio raises $125M at $1.7B valuation for its HR operations platform

Personio GmbH, a software-as-a-service startup that enables human resources teams to perform tasks such as recruiting with less manual work, has closed $125 million in new funding at a $1.7 billion valuation.

The newly minted unicorn disclosed the financing round today. Index Ventures was the lead investor, with Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Meritech Capital and several other institutional backers participating as well.

London-based Personio’s namesake HR platform primarily targets businesses in Europe with up to 2,000 employees. The startup has landed about 3,000 customers in this segment so far and, along with its investors, it sees even bigger revenue opportunities ahead. “SMEs are the backbone of the European economy, employing 100 million people across the continent, but it is also a sector that has been neglected by software companies focused predominantly on large enterprises,” said Index Ventures partner Martin Mignot, who has joined Personio’s board.

The startup’s platform provides tools for performing the core set of tasks that underpin companies’ HR workflows, starting with recruitment. Personio enables HR professionals to post job openings to multiple career portals via a centralized dashboard that saves them the hassle of submitting listings to websites individually. After a listing is posted, another centralized dashboard makes it possible to track applicants in one place.

Personio also helps HR teams manage employees after they’re onboarded. According to the startup, its platform can reduce the amount of work required to process leave requests by about 80% by enabling workers to ask for time off via a self-service portal. Personio shows a worker’s leave request next to how much vacation time they have available, which it says enables HR teams to decide whether to approve it without having to calculate that employee’s remaining vacation time manually .

Added up, Personio says, the various time-saving features provided by its platform can reduce HR teams’ workload by double-digit percentage points in some cases.

The startup will use the new funding from Index Ventures and its other investors to double its 500-person team by year’s end. The additional personnel will help Personio expand into new markets such as France and Italy, as well as support its efforts to establish a bigger presence in markets where it already operates. 

The startup’s roadmap also includes plans to broaden its feature set by adding a catalog of integrations with third-party business applications.

HR is one of several core back office workflows that are becoming increasingly automated thanks to the efforts of software-as-a-service providers. Corporate accounting is another and, much like HR, this market has drawn strong interest from venture capitalists looking for the next unicorn. Tipalti Inc., which provides a platform that automates the process of paying external parties such as suppliers for goods and services, raised $150 million late last year at a $2 billion valuation.

Image: Personio

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