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German all-in-one HR platform Personio storms to unicorn growth

While the all-in-one HR platform with German origins can technically still be considered a ‘startup’, their growth isn’t anything like one. As companies pushed for HR automation in 2020, Personio thrived. As a result, their valuation has now hit a whopping unicorn growth of €1.4bn

Jasper Spanjaart on February 02, 2021 Average reading time: 3 min
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German all-in-one HR platform Personio storms to unicorn growth

When Hanno Renner, Roman Schumacher, Arseniy Vershinin and Ignaz Forstmeier got together in August of 2015 — it seemed like magic was born. When they raised €2.2 million in seed money roughly nine months later, they were well and truly on their way. Personio offers a suite of HR tools, including payroll, onboarding absence management, attendance tracking, applicant tracking, workflow management and more.

2020: the year of HR

While many sectors struggled all-round from March onward in 2020, it simply served as an accelerator for another. While recruiters were among the hardest hit in the economic backlash of the COVID-19 pandemic, Personio says it was the year where HR’s true potential was realised. “HR offers an emphasis on people that leads to corporate success”, Hanno Renner, its CEO, told AltAssets. “When companies give their HR departments the freedom to work strategically, only then can they be truly successful. For this to work, we need to truly rethink the way HR is done.”

Personio CEO Hans Renner.

When companies give their HR departments the freedom to work strategically, only then can they be truly successful.”

Now, with 600 employees spread across some of Europe’s largest cities, Personio is steadily taking over Europe’s HR tech market. The company now seeks to increase its total number of employees to a four-number digit, planning further growth in the DACH region, Spain, the Nordics, the UK as well as the Benelux.

‘A fraction of its potential’

With a string of new venture capital firms investing in the hot HR software platform, Personio now sits on a valuation of approximately €1.4bn. While the firm is already at a unicorn growth stage, Personio isn’t anywhere close to being done. “This valuation only reflects a fraction of our potential”, Renner told Handelsblatt. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t one day be valued at 20 billion or 40 billion.” Renner, only 29 years of age, will likely steer his company toward going public — but says it isn’t quite time just yet.

I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing an awful lot more of the company whose mantra is: ’no hoops, no hype, just great HR’.

Meanwhile, Personio will simply focus on doing what it does best: make HR processes as simple as possible. It thrives in an area where nothing is sexy, but it simply does need to be done. Personio’s software has transformed HR departments from all over the world, ranging from small to medium-sized companies. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing an awful lot more of the company whose mantra is: ’no hoops, no hype, just great HR’.

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Writer and editor at ToTalent

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