Posted on January 15, 2020 by staff

Brexit gives ‘future unicorn’ UK growth opportunity


The CEO of German HR tech platform Personio has said the UK’s current economic situation presents a unique opportunity for the firm.

Hanno Renner told BusinessCloud the Bayern-headquartered firm, which has been backed with more than $50 million investment, is in talks with a number of big names in the UK.

“The UK is a huge focus for us at the moment, and given the unique circumstances here – a tight labour market, productivity challenges, and Brexit uncertainty – HR automation is hugely in-demand,” he said.

The company has already secured UK savings marketplace Raisin and AI-powered business intelligence firm millimetric as clients.

“We give HR managers the opportunity to spend more time on the important work, that ultimately makes their business better, and we’re seeing major demand in the UK for that,” he added.

GP Bullhound tipped the firm as one of 50 European start-ups with the potential to become $1bn companies in the next two years.

The firm, which recently established a presence in the UK to help support its UK customers now has a team of five in London, which includes Ben Kiziltug, the firm’s head of international.

Its relatively small UK presence forms part of its total 350 employees, with offices in Munich and Madrid. Renner said the growth of the company means that their headcount is on the rise almost weekly.

Renner said its presence in European markets is hoped to tap into its estimated worth of €30bn.

Before setting up the firm with friends from university, Renner spent years working as a skipper for sailing yachts. He first led Personio’s sales and HR teams through a period of growth and graduated to chief operation officer of the business.

Its SaaS platform is designed to bring disparate HR tasks under its one umbrella. It allows HR managers to carry out the recruitment, management and development of employees.

It also allows employees themselves to log in to the platform and apply for leave, upload medical certificates, and review applications in an effort to streamline the HR processes.

The firm has completed a number funding rounds, including a $2.2m seed fund in July 2016, followed by Series A funding of $12m in July 2017.

Its latest Series B funding of $40m took place during the beginning of 2019.

“We’re now using this to execute our strategy and drive growth,” said Renner.