Personio, a startup that provides HR software for small and medium-sized businesses, is now valued at $1.7bn following a $125m pre-Series D funding round.

It brings the total investment in Personio to over $250m and cements its ‘unicorn’ status – private startups with a valuation of $1bn or more. This puts it in the company of other European unicorns such as Revolut, Deliveroo and Klarna.

The Munich-headquartered startup plans to use the funds to accelerate expansion across Europe and to invest in product development of its “all-in-one” software, which includes HR, payroll and recruiting tools for companies with 10 to 2,000 employees.

Existing investor Index Ventures, which has previously backed the likes of Slack, Dropbox and Zendesk, led the funding round. Salesforce backer Meritch joined as co-lead investor while all of Personio’s existing backers provided funds. They include Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Northzone, Global Founders Capital and Picus.

The company said it doubled revenues in 2020, with growth accelerated by the pandemic’s shift to digital tools and remote workforces. Personio now has more than 3,000 SME customers across Europe.

“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,” said Hanno Renner, co-founder and CEO of Personio.

“It has also showcased the important role of HR teams, especially while so many of us continue to work remotely. We are grateful for a strong year in which we could grow to serve over 3,000 European SMEs. By further expanding our platform, we’ll continue to support our customers in tackling their current challenges and beyond.”

No current acquisition plans for Personio

In 2019 Personio acquired Spanish payroll startup Rollbox. However, the startup said it has no further M&A plans at present.

The latest funding round comes a year after it scooped $75m in a Series C round. The startup has also been expanding its executive team, bringing former Dropbox, Transferwise and Zalando execs on board.

The company plans to launch Personio Marketplace in Q1, which will allow its customers to automate workflows across tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.

It also plans to double international headcount to 1,000 people by the end of the year and enter new markets in France and Italy.

“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,” said Alex Clayton, general pPartner at Meritech Capital and Personio’s newest board member.

“After many great discussions with Hanno over recent years, we are now excited to be joining the journey.”

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