Personio raises £92M: European HR tech ‘unicorn’ to expand UK&I team by 5x times in 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some of the most crucial HR challenges of our time. To overcome these challenges and work efficiently, HR professionals need the most capable softwares available. And here’s where Personio aims to fill the gap.

Personio is a Germany company that digitises and simplifies time-consuming HR processes and helps create time for things that truly matter. 

Raised £92M funding

Recently, the Munich-based company has raised a huge $125 million (approx £92 million) funding in a Series D round, valuing the company at $1.7 billion (approx £1.25 billion) and becomes Germany’s latest unicorn.  

With the latest valuation, Personio joins the list of the most valuable private software companies in Europe like UiPath, Revolut, Deliveroo, or Klarna.

Who backed Personio?

The funding was led by the company’s existing investor Index Ventures. Other existing investors like Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Northzone, Global Founders Capital, and Picus also participated. Meritech, which has a long-standing track record of backing highly successful SaaS companies also participated in the round.. 

The latest funding comes exactly one year after Personio received $75 million (approx £55.3 million) Series C funding. To date, the company has raised over $250 million (approx £184 million) in funding. 

How will the funding be used?

Personio will use the funding to accelerate international expansion and focus on its cloud-based software. The funding also provides the option for further acquisitions, claims the company. 

The German company is also planning to enhance and deepen the product’s core capabilities to support HR teams on a daily basis. 

Furthermore, the company aims to launch its own Marketplace with new integration in Q1, allowing customers to automate workflows across tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other HR-related software.

Expansion plans for UK&I and other European markets

Personio plans to further accelerate its growth in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, while doubling down its investments in markets that the business successfully entered in 2020, such as Spain, UK & Ireland, the Nordics, and Benelux. 

Personio’s spokesperson also informed UKTN, “the company has multiplied its UK and Ireland headcount from one to over 30 team members and has grown its revenue almost tenfold. The business plans to further expand its footprint in the UK and Ireland market and is on track to grow the size of its UK&I team five times over, to 170 in 2021.”

Further, in 2021, the HR tech scaleup is expected to foray into new markets like France and Italy. The company is also planning to double its international headcount from 500 to 1000 by the end of 2021, across its four offices in Munich (HQ), Madrid, London, and Dublin. 

All-in-one HR software

Founded by Arseniy Vershinin, Hanno Renner, Ignaz Forstmeier, and Roman Schumacher in 2015, Personio offers an all-in-one HR software for small- and medium-sized companies with 10 to 2,000 employees. 

With the cloud-based software, Personio wants to make HR processes as transparent and efficient as possible. The company’s software includes human resources, recruiting, and payroll and supports all core HR processes every business needs to do. 

At present, the German company is helping more than 3,000 SMEs across Europe by digitising and automating their people operations. 

Hanno Renner, Co-founder, and CEO of Personio: “This preemptive investment comes earlier than we had anticipated, as we’re still well funded from our previous round in January 2020. Such strong interest and support from our investors demonstrate 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.”

Martin Mignot, Partner at Index Ventures and Personio Board Member: “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. Personio changes that, having created a set of powerful tools tailored to address the needs of small businesses. Under the leadership of the company’s co-founder Hanno Renner, Personio has quickly become one of the most impactful and impressive businesses in Europe, and we’re thrilled to be working with him and the team as they scale and respond to rising demand for their products.”

Alex Clayton, General Partner at Meritech Capital and Personio’s newest Board Member: “We have had the pleasure of working with some of the most successful SaaS companies in the world, and given Personio’s success over the past five years and the immense market potential, we strongly believe in Personio’s ability to build an equally successful and impactful business.”

Newly appointed executives

Personio also expanded its executive team, with the hiring of three high-profile leaders over the past year: 

  • Geraldine MacCarthy as Chief Revenue Officer (ex Dropbox) 
  • Ross Seychell as Chief People Officer (ex Transferwise) 
  • Birgit Haderer as Chief Finance Officer (ex Zalando) 

The company’s first employee Jonas Rieke has been promoted to Chief Operations Officer as well.