PayFit raises €254 million in new capital, now valued at €1.82 billion

PayFit, a leading payroll and HR management solution for small and medium businesses (SMEs), said today, January 6th, 2022, that it has raised €254 million in a Series E funding round, a new record for a French HR startup. PayFit has now reached a valuation of €1.82 billion as a result of this current round of funding, making it a member of the unicorn club.

The company has been developing a payroll and HR software-as-a-service platform for SMEs. PayFit is only available in a few European countries, but it says it presently employs over 150,000 people. General Atlantic led the round, while several of PayFit’s previous investors, such as Eurazeo, Bpifrance’s Large Venture Fund, and Accel, are returning.

“PayFit has produced an innovative and revolutionary product servicing the payroll and HR administration needs of SMEs across Europe,” says Chris Caulkin, managing director and head of IT for EMEA at General Atlantic. We believe the company has a bright future ahead of it as it expands its product offering and continues to gain market share in France and Europe. We are ecstatic to be able to assist PayFit and its management team in this next stage of development.”

PayFit’s objective is to make payroll and HR management easier for organizations, which has become increasingly more critical in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the numerous difficulties it has introduced. The company offers a leading next-generation payroll solution that automates complicated and time-consuming HR operations, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses that are neglected. PayFit’s patented technology platform makes payroll calculations simple for HR managers, finance managers, and business owners in markets with complicated legal requirements, which is a major differentiator in the fast-growing HR technology market. PayFit, founded by Firmin Zocchetto, Florian Fournier, and Ghislain de Fontenay in 2016, allows small and medium businesses to pay their employees effortlessly and swiftly.

According to the company’s data, over 24 million SMEs in Europe are dealing with the issues of remote working and shifting HR trends. PayFit intends to assist these businesses in digitizing their whole HR department, saving time and money while allowing them to focus on growth. A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) module has been developed by the organization to automate time-consuming HR activities.

Before this fundraising round, PayFit has accumulated over 6,000 clients and raised €179 million since its inception in 2015. Its €90 million Series D capital round, which concluded in March of 2021, helped the firm continue to innovate its current product suite and hire 300 additional workers, solidifying its position as a leader in the European HR tech market. PayFit can also serve as a central storage location for receipts and costs, this is because the corporation already knows everyone’s bank information, transferring money back to an employee for a monetary outlay is much easier. It further allows employees to examine the company directory and management chain. Employees can request a computer, a badge, and submit personal information as soon as they join the organization by setting up an onboarding flow in PayFit.

PayFit will use the additional Series E funding to expand its SME-tailored solution across HR management by combining vacations, absences, and expenses with interview evaluation functionality, among other additions that will be released later this year.

“PayFit’s expansion beyond France into the UK, Spain, and Germany shows further validation of our innovative offering and our capacity to scale up,” says Zocchetto. We intend to use these fresh funds to expand our footprint in existing markets where we have great growth potential in the future. We are proud at PayFit to have developed a firm with solid roots, where people like coming to work and can make a meaningful difference for our clients. This Series E fundraising will enable us to continue our rapid expansion since our inception.”

“It’s been fantastic to see Firmin, Florian, and Ghislain scale the team from just 40 employees and 60 customers back in 2017 when we led their Series A to a team of more than 700 employees, operating across four European countries, and supporting more than 6,000 customers,” says Philippe Botteri, partner at Accel. “Payfit’s unique and flexible cloud architecture has enabled it to quickly address the core HR and payroll needs of the large underserved European SME market and support more than 6,000 customers.

PayFit’s then-vice-president of engineering, Pierre-Alain Bouchard told SiliconRepublic.com in 2020 that the “consumerization” of HR, along with advances in big data and machine learning, is transforming the payroll industry’s face. “As they mature, they provide us with additional tools to fine-tune our clients’ experiences,” he said.

Last year, Europe led the world in the creation of global tech unicorns, and France was no exception. Sorare, Ledger, Shift Technology, and Vestiaire Collective, among others, all surpassed a billion-dollar valuation in 2021, establishing themselves as some of France’s most exciting start-ups.

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