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German HR startup Personio tops $6 billion valuation in funding round

By Reuters

BERLIN – German human resources software startup Personio said on Tuesday it had raised $270 million from investors to help develop new products, with the funding round quadrupling its valuation to more than $6 billion.

The round was led by Greenoaks Capital with participation from Altimeter and Alkeon Capital, Personio said in a statement, adding that existing investors such as Accel and Index Ventures also took part.

“We have the potential to build a global leader in European HR software. We want to show there is more than just SAP,” Chief Executive Hanno Renner told Reuters in an interview, referring to the German business software group.

Personio, which is now valued at $6.3 billion, initially wants to focus on Europe, achieve 2021 sales in the high double-digit millions of euros, grow by 100% each year and consider a public listing at some point, Renner said.

The CEO added that the company, which has 5000 customers in Germany and other European countries, will use the funds raised to expand its portfolio to include automated workflow applications.

“For example, a program can automatically create absence notes and cancel appointments once a vacation request is approved,” Renner said.

Personio, founded in 2015, achieved a valuation of $1.7 billion in early 2021, becoming the second German technology startup after freight tech firm Sennder to claim a “unicorn” valuation of more than $1 billion.

In the current year, more such unicorns have emerged in Germany than ever before as European software startups draw abundant backing from venture capital funds despite broader business headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic.