Leading HR-tech startup Personio acquires Back and expands across Europe

Today, leading European HRtech innovator Personio has announced that it has acquired Back, a Berlin-based employee experience solution. Based in Munich, Madrid, London, Dublin and Amsterdam, Personio is on a mission to make HR processes across the continent as transparent as possible. 

HRtech is big business in 2022. Through abrupt changes over the past couple of years in terms of how we work and where we work, businesses around the world are under more pressure than ever before to meet employee demands. Founded in 2015, Personio is empowering HR teams to focus on what matters most – people and strategy. Now, they are bringing their vision to more European hubs and further consolidating its position as a market leader with this new acquisition. In 2021, the company picked up a massive €233 million and launched its People Workflow Automation. 

Personio is one of Europe’s most valuable unicorns, having been valued at over €5.7 billion and it is growing fast, with over 1000 employees. It’s a company that aspires to fuel positive social impact and drive change. To this end, the Personio Foundation has been launched as an independent and not-for-profit organisation that will offer financial and business support to NGOs and social enterprises working in education and climate action. We chatted to Co-founder Roman Schumacher to find out more about the company’s mission and values earlier this year. 

Back is a Berlin-based employee experience solution automating key people processes to boost efficiency. As such, the acquisition supports Personio’s strategic direction to advance and expand the People Workflow Automation category, which enables HR teams in SMEs to work efficiently across departments and tools. 

Founded in 2018, the startup helps people teams to process employee requests and automate responses to recurring questions through conversational ticketing, knowledge management and workflow automation. It enables employees to submit requests and receive automated responses to frequently asked questions through daily communication channels such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. For example, if an employee needs to report an error in their payslip, they have a single place to ask this question – and HR can reply or even automate responses via an internal knowledge base powered by built-in artificial intelligence.

By managing requests and providing answers automatically in a single location, employees and employers can save time and focus on value-adding tasks. Employee experience is also improved, with remote or hybrid based staff benefitting from frictionless HR processes wherever they work.   

Hanno Renner, Co-Founder and CEO of Personio: “Back’s product and team are a great fit for us for two reasons. Firstly, our customers will benefit from a one-stop-shop for employee requests or questions. Secondly, the Back team have brilliant experience in building workflows that bring fragmented tasks together. They will be a core part of continuing to evolve Personio into a People Workflow Automation category leader that drives productivity across every aspect of a business by removing delays and ensuring opportunities are not missed.”

Christian Eggert, Co-founder of Back and new Head of Product, Workflows and Integrations at Personio, said: “Back has always shared Personio’s vision to improve business performance through a focus on people operations and strategy. This is also why we were one of the first companies to integrate with the Personio platform. Through working together over the past years, we’ve realised that a fully integrated approach to workflow management within a people platform like Personio would result in a much better experience for our customers and their employees. We are therefore excited to join forces with a category-defining HR software company and I can’t wait to accelerate the momentum of People Workflow Automation.” 

Alongside the acquisition, Personio has also just announced the opening of new offices in Berlin and Barcelona to drive additional growth.  The Berlin office will be home to 20 existing team members who have to date been working remotely from the area, and Back’s 13 employees who will all join Personio.  From the new offices, Personio will gain access to further pools of tech talent and continue to rapidly and constantly expand and adapt its product to meet the respective market needs of customers across Europe. 

With the deal, Back’s existing products for ticketing and knowledge management will be fully integrated into Personio’s offer. Founders Christian Eggert (CEO) and James Lafa (CTO) will join Personio as Head of Product and Head of Engineering respectively for the Workflow, Ticketing and Knowledge functionalities within Personio.