French scaleup PayFit raises €90 million to become a European leader in HR and payroll management for SMEs

Paris-based HRtech leader PayFit has secured a €90 million Series D funding – hot off the heels of a €70 million round closed in 2019 – enabling the scaleup to pursue its ambition to simplify payroll and human resource management for all European SMEs. 

The investment round follows the company’s 40% growth in 2020 and has been led by Eurazeo Growth, Large Venture and BPI France with participation and support from existing investors including Accel, Frst and French billionaire Xavier Niel. PayFit is gearing for a further 80% company growth in 2021. 

The latest investment will enable PayFit to continue developing its comprehensive HR solution, consolidate its existing offer and support its hypergrowth by increasing its headcount by 50% to 800 in 2021.

Founded in 2016, PayFit now serves more than 5,000 SMEs with 100,000 employees using the solution – including Revolut, Starling Bank, Treatwell, and others – in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. The company has 550 employees in its offices in Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and London. 

In the “HR in everyday life” survey published in 2020, HR professionals claim to devote at least half of their working time to administrative tasks. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of digitising administrative processes, particularly those that sit within HR, as Firmin Zocchetto, CEO and co-founder of PayFit, explains: “As a result of the pandemic, HR professionals have faced a much higher workload and previously unknown challenges. They have had to deal with various issues: from supporting the company’s management with the implementation of remote work policies to ensuring employee wellbeing through new initiatives.”   

According to the European Economic and Social Committee, there are over 24 million SMEs in Europe. The health crisis has made digitalisation a priority for many of them and Firmin Zocchetto sees this as an opportunity for PayFit to strengthen its position in the market. “There are still tens of millions of SMEs that want to go digital. The market is huge, and our ambition remains the same: to become the point of reference for payroll and HR management for all SMEs.”

For HR teams, digitisation of admin tasks presents an opportunity to focus on more high-value activities – e.g. employee training, career progression and learning and development initiatives. 

PayFit already centralises payroll, HMRC submissions, absences and holidays, expense reports, employee onboarding and employee contact information. Above and beyond standard HR and payroll functions, the company also provides relevant data analysis to identify gender pay gaps in organisations. 

The development of existing and new features under PayFit’s Human Resources Information System (HRIS) module, such as weekly meetings and feedback surveys, will help companies positively impact their employees’ lives by boosting engagement and closing gaps between managers and employees. HR professionals will be able to manage all HR and payroll functions in one easy-to-use platform.

The new developments will be carried out internally and through integrations with other digital players. These partnerships will help Payfit’s customers digitise and support the entire HR ecosystem within a company.

To implement the new features, PayFit plans to recruit 250 employees in 2021, focusing on product teams. With 550 existing employees, PayFit expects to reach 800 by the end of 2021 and 1,000 by the end of 2022. 

Firmin Zocchetto explains: “All of our clients do their payroll on our solution, but not all of them manage their HR with us. Having additional HR modules will help our clients to become increasingly digital, more efficient and support their growth”.