French HR startup PayFit raises €254 million to simplify the payroll and HR processes for SMEs globally

PayFit, a leading payroll and HR management solution for SMEs, today announced that it has raised €254 million in a Series E funding round, a record-breaking amount for a French HR startup. This latest raise in fresh capital sees PayFit reach a €1.82 billion valuation, which means the French company is now officially part of the the unicorn club.

General Atlantic led the round, with participation from existing investors Eurazeo, Bpifrance and Accel Ventures. PayFit plans to use the funds to recruit additional top talent, accelerate the development of innovative new products, and increase its market share across Europe.

PayFit’s mission is to simplify payroll and HR management, which has become even more important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many complexities it has introduced for businesses in managing human capital. The company provides a leading next-gen payroll solution that automates complex and time-intensive HR processes, particularly for underserved small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). PayFit’s proprietary technology platform enables HR managers, finance managers and business owners to easily conduct payroll calculations in markets with complex regulatory requirements, which is a key differentiator amidst the fast-growing HR technology market.

Since its founding in 2015, PayFit has gained over 6,000 clients, and has raised €179 million to date, prior to this funding round. Its €90 million Series D funding round, which closed in March, supported the company in the continued innovation of its current product suite and hiring of 300 new employees, reinforcing its leadership in the European HR tech sector. Based in France, PayFit has successfully expanded into three additional major European markets – Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom – and plans to scale from more than 700 current employees to over 1,000 within the next 12 months. The expansion of the PayFit team has included key senior leadership hires across critical business functions spanning technology, finance, operations, and more.

PayFit will use the new Series E funding to deepen its penetration in existing markets, invest in its core automated payroll software offering, and continue to expand its SME-tailored solution across HR management by complementing leaves, absences and expenses with performance review functionality, among other features to be launched later this year.

Firmin Zocchetto, the CEO and cofounder of PayFit explained: “PayFit’s expansion beyond France into the UK, Spain and Germany demonstrated further validation of our innovative offering and our capacity to scale up. As we look ahead, we plan to use these new funds to deepen our presence in our existing markets, where we have significant growth potential. At PayFit, we are proud to have built a company with strong foundations, where people are happy to work and that can have a real impact on our clients. This Series E funding will allow us to maintain the rapid growth we have achieved since our founding.”

The first time we mentioned Payfit was in 2017 when we mentioned PayFit as one of 10 French startups to watch in 2017 and beyond.