In the immediate aftermath of Personio lifting a big round yesterday, one of his competitors and another big startup in the HR space have also raised some funding. Hello Bob, a London-based company targeting the mid-market with an all-in-one platform that handles various HR functions, closed a $ 150 million Series C. The financing values the company at around $ 1.65 billion, the company has confirmed to us. This was also the figure that appeared in leaked rumors on the market earlier this week, before the company confirms the news today.
General Atlantic led the round, with previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Eight Roads and Entrée Capital, among others, investing. Hibob last raised money about 10 months ago, a $ 70 million round in December 2020 (a round led by SEEK and Israel Growth Partners). His valuation has since more than tripled, a mark of how hot the HR market is right now.
“Hot” and HR are not two terms that are normally heard in the same sentence. Tasks that comprise human resources, in the case of Hibob, tracking attendance, time off, compensation, payroll, benefits, and conducting surveys, are generally considered some of the drier aspects and Often too officious from working life.
COVID-19 and pandemic work practices, where the vast majority of knowledge workers were sent home for the better part of a year or more (and some of us are still here in our kitchens), have definitely changed the way where we interact with work, and why HR systems have suddenly become a way of tracking things and even helping us all stay connected.
Hibob, which sells its platform as “Bob,” says it has seen triple-digit revenue growth last year, and its opportunity has been to introduce its product, which also offers collaboration and other tools, as a modern take on it. what HR can mean for a company.
“Our mission is to modernize HR technology,” Ronni Zehavi, Hibob CEO, who co-founded the company with Israel David, told me last December. “We are a people management platform for the way people work today. Whether remotely or in physical collaboration, our clients face challenges with work. We believe that the HR platforms of the future will not be clunky systems, giant and annoying platforms. We think it should be different. We are a system of participation rather than registration. “
While the company’s roots are in Israel, its modern headquarters are in London, with another office in New York. It has 1,500 midsize clients operating in 134 countries, but right now it says that around 65% of those clients, which include companies like Ebury Partners Ltd., G.Network, Revolut and Cazoo, are in the UK and other European countries. . markets.
The funding will be used in part in an effort to leverage increased growth internationally to complement that existing base.
In recent years, HR technology has seen a shift that mirrors that of all enterprise IT – the explosion of funding available to startups has spawned a host of point solution specialists addressing unique aspects of the process. HR strategy, whether it’s payroll or benefits, or hiring and onboarding, or surveys and employee satisfaction, or training or recruiting.
However, the greater gravitational pull of technology seems to always bring us back to the concept of larger platforms, which in their way are easier to run and potentially less expensive overall. In HR, those who target small and medium-sized clients like Hibob or Personio also have a precedent in the form of Workday (and more historically companies like SAP).
Personio is an interesting company to consider compared to Hibob: it is larger but also has smaller businesses in its client mix. When he announced his funding with a valuation of $ 6.3 billion yesterday, he pointed out that his next steps would be to enter a broader automation of the workflow, bringing more data that he captures in HR systems (and specifically in systems of Personio’s HR) to other applications in a more efficient way.
It will be interesting to see if Hibob takes a similar route, or if not, how it chooses to evolve its own platform over time. HR, focused on people management, is in a way at the heart of the way a company runs its entire business, so there are many routes it can take.
“Hello Bob has created a solution that serves and anticipates the needs of modern and evolving businesses, ”said Anton Levy, General Atlantic co-president, MD and global chief technology officer, in a statement. “We have been monitoring the company for years, and positive customer feedback further validates that Hello BobThe platform has become a mission-critical component of HR technology stacks. Hello Bob It will mark our sixth investment in an Israel-based company in less than two years, signifying our strong conviction in the country’s market. We look forward to supporting the company’s global growth as it redefines employee engagement and human resource technology. “