Berlin-based HRtech Kenjo raises €5.1 million to expand further across Germany and reach Austria, Switzerland and Spain

Berlin-based startup, Kenjo (derived from the Japanese word “Kenshō” which means ‘seeing one’s (true) nature’) has raised one of the largest seed rounds for a HRtech in 2020 after successfully closing a round of €5.1 million.

The round was led by Redapline who were one of the early investors in fintech unicorn N26 and leading tax-reimbursement platform Taxfix. Other investors include Julian Teicke, CEO and founder of wefox, the insurtech which recently became a unicorn, and Maximilian Thayenthal, founder of N26.

Founded in 2017, Kenjo is a modern, full-service HR and culture platform that automates admin work and enables employees to take ownership of their professional development by providing a single-view access to the most important information that an employee needs.

Designed specifically for employees, Kenjo enables employees to manage their workflows, update their personal information (bank accounts, address etc) and automated HR admin tasks, such as holiday entitlements, maternity leave and sick leave.

David Padilla, CEO and founder of Kenjo, said: “The investment is a clear validation of our value proposition and business model. Traditional HR systems are on the verge of a major overhaul and the majority of HR software providers are only rebuilding old systems with new technologies, reinforcing traditional practices. That’s no longer viable to manage an emerging, and radically different, workforce.”

“Corona has exposed several weaknesses in HR functions as companies struggled to maintain business continuity while sustaining organisational unity and culture when employees were forced to work from home. Corona has accelerated a trend that was already there: more flexible work models. A trend rooted in strong employee demand. Existing systems were built for a world that no longer exists.

“On top of all of this, today’s employees are also more interested in personal and professional development than status and salary, so the current software providers are basically wolves in sheep’s clothing, which is why we built Kenjo and with the employee experience at the heart of our product,” added Padilla.

Carlo Egle, investment manager at Redalpine, said: “HRTech is a big area for investment because competition for talent will become tougher and companies that offer a better employee experience will win the war for talent. We believe in order for employers to stay relevant and competitive in the market they must foster their unique culture that helps them attract and retain talent. This means enabling employees to have more control over their personal and professional development opportunities with flexibility of working remotely while maintaining connection to the company and peers.

The investment will be used for market expansion as the company focuses on increasing its presence in Germany and in 2021 Kenjo will expand into Austria, Switzerland and Spain as well as accelerate product development. Kenjo also aims to deliver a five-fold return on their investment in product and technology.