Copenhagen-based Pento raises €12.7 million to expand its real-time, automated payroll software

Pento, the payroll automation startup, has raised around 12.7 million Series A funding to continue building the future of employee compensation. The funding will be used to expand its remote-first team around the globe, move into more countries, and continue building advanced features to simplify payroll.

The round was led by US venture capital firm General Catalyst, with participation from US firm Avid Ventures and UK’s LocalGlobe. Existing investors Point Nine Capital, Moonfire Ventures, Hustle Fund, and Seedcamp also took part, alongside strategic angels from Stripe (Thairu and Diede van Lamoen), Monzo (Tom Blomfield), GoCardless (Matt Robinson), Zoom (Eric Yuan), Cuvva (Freddy Macnamara), Intercom (Des Traynor) and more. A number of angels were existing customers of Pento before the round opened, and have seen the benefits first-hand.

Since 2017, the Danish firm has supported more than 700 companies in the transition away from outdated payroll processes. Pento’s customers to-date include tech firms (such as Pleo, Cuvva), large hospitality brands (like Honest Burgers), and retail and e-commerce brands (such as Lacoste, Beauty Pie). Instead of relying on spreadsheets, PDFs, e-mails, and countless manual checks, Pento gives its customers complete control over every step with easy-to-use, cloud-based tools, real-time calculations, greater transparency, and online and telephone support.

Since the start of 2021, Pento has had consecutive record-breaking months putting it on track to increase its customer base and revenue five-fold by the end of the year. It is also set to triple its remote-first team – actively hiring across engineering, sales, marketing, people, design and customer service departments globally.

“So much of payroll is still stuck in the dark ages. Companies waste too much precious time and resources attempting to manage payroll and responding to avoidable payroll errors,” said Pento co-founder and CEO, Jonas Bøgh Larsen. “This makes it seem much more complex and closed-off than it needs to be, which fuels the myth that outsourcing is the only viable solution. We want to change that. We’re giving companies the confidence and tools to do it themselves; to make it flexible and easy to get paid in a way that enables everyone to choose for themselves how and when they want it done, without compromising on security, transparency, or speed.”

Pento automates every step of the payroll process from start to end, in real time. It’s suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, up to companies with 1,000+ employees and includes generating P45s, P60s, P32s, P11Ds automatically, and complete end-of-year reporting. All at a set, transparent monthly fee, based on a customer’s employee numbers.

The software has real-time calculators to help employers work out liabilities, and automate PAYE, National Insurance Contributions and salary payments. Pento gets rid of payroll deadlines and cut-off dates, offers fast and reliable payroll support, and plugs directly into HMRC – or other country-relevant authorities – for reporting. Soon, employees will be able to get immediate and transparent access to pay history and personal pay-related data. Pento can additionally be integrated into existing accounting software, HR products like BambooHR and Hibob (and soon Personio, Humaans and others), plus pension providers to create a seamless workflow. Additionally, the first version of an open payroll API is already in beta and is being tested by existing customers.

“Our integrations with existing software play a key role in what sets us apart,” said co-founder and CTO, Emil Hagbarth Rasmussen. “From day one, we said we didn’t want to become a Jack of all trades, master of none. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin trying to be accounting, HR, pension providers and more. Payroll is our bread and butter. Purely payroll. Not only does focusing on improving every single element of payroll make us infinitely more useful for our customers, but we’re building the infrastructure that enables us and other startups to innovate and build the next-generation of new and exciting compensation products. We’re also delighted to welcome angel investors from the likes of Papaya Global (Eynat Guez), Remote.com (Job van der Voort), OysterHR (Tony Jamous) and Deel (Alex Bouaziz) to this round. Their experience creating industry-leading companies in the HR and payroll tech space provides significant validation for us.”