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HR startups: Personio collects € 35 million

Personio collects just slim 35 million – incredible. Let’s start the interview with Personio co-founder Hanno Renner:

First of all congratulations to the whole Personio Team! And then directly the question: what do you do with 35 million euros?

Thank you for your kind wishes. We are excited to partner with Index Ventures to partner with some of the world’s most successful software companies such as Slack or Dropbox. We will use the investment to make our software even better for existing and future customers. Above all, that means for us to get even more talented employees on board. Currently our team consists of 150 employees from 27 nations. We have already more than doubled this last year and will continue to grow in all functions in the coming year.

What differentiates Personio from the competition?

I believe that, above all, our holistic approach, which encompasses the entire employee life cycle, sets us apart from the competition. We differentiate between core HR functions such as recruiting, onboarding, payroll accounting or absences, which every company has to take care of and other functions. These are more customer or industry specific, such as physical time tracking. We ourselves focus on optimizing the core functions and creating a system that is the central platform.

We enable our customers to use specific additional functions through partner integrations and IT interfaces. Our existing customers value the fact that they are using Personio as an ambitious partner who wants to continuously improve their software and gives a lot of attention to their customers’ opinions. So, apart from our software, we are also very active in the HR scene and create projects such as our conference I believe that above all our holistic approach, which encompasses the entire employee life cycle, sets us apart from the competition.

We differentiate between core HR functions such as recruiting, onboarding, payroll accounting or absences, which every company has to take care of and other functions. These are more customer or industry specific, such as physical time tracking. We ourselves focus on optimizing the core functions and creating a system that is the central platform.

We enable our customers to use specific additional functions through partner integrations and IT interfaces. Our existing customers value the fact that they are using Personio as an ambitious partner who wants to continuously improve their software and gives a lot of attention to their customers’ opinions. Thus, apart from our software, we are also very active in the HR scene and, for example, use projects w H.U.G Your HR happening to create modern exchange rooms for HR professionals who want to make a difference.

And what are your next steps in product development, sales and internationalization?

In the next step, we will work on further partner integrations and new own functions. At the same time, with the help of our customers, we are constantly improving our design and the user-friendliness of the current software. 2019 will also be the year of internationalization in other European markets. Which markets exactly is not yet clear. We are currently working on the strategy.

Where do you see the biggest market challenges?

Our target group are small and medium-sized enterprises. This market encompasses more than 1.7 million businesses across Europe (Eurostat, 2017). Many of these companies still use Excel spreadsheets and analog files to manage their employees or work with outdated, manual systems. Often this works and accordingly, the willingness to spend money on an HR system is not given by the management. HR managers, on the other hand, usually recognize the benefits of our software quickly, and it is not without reason that our main users spend several hours per workday in person. Therefore, our challenge in the market is often to properly support human resources to enforce the software implementation in their management.

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