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HR and benefits platform provider Hibob has raised $17.5 million in a Series A round of funding led by Battery Ventures, with participation from Eight Roads Ventures, Arbor Ventures, and Bessemer Venture Partners.
Founded out of London in 2014, Hibob’s flagship software, called Bob, serves as a central hub for a company’s every HR need, and includes attendance records, time-off schedules, and generally every piece of data a firm would collect from its employees. It’s designed so that employees can input much of the data themselves.
Hibob had raised a $7.5 million seed round around the time it launched in the U.K. last year, and today it claims some big-name clients, including ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, among “hundreds of others,” according to a company statement. The extra funding will be put to a number of uses, including expanding operations globally by the end of 2017 — including in the U.S.
“Our vision is to transform the way businesses engage with their employees and empower HR to be at the forefront of this fundamental change,” said Hibob CEO and cofounder Ronni Zehavi. “We see mobile and social media, the growing millennial workforce, and cloud technologies as major forces for this long-needed innovation.”
The U.S. already has some big-name incumbents in the HR SaaS (software as a service) realm, including the controversy-mired Zenefits, which has raised north of $500 million since its launch back in 2013. Gusto is another competitor, having raised more than $175 million. So Hibob may need more capital than it currently has if it’s to put a serious dent in the U.S. market.
“The U.S. is a huge market with a number of key players, however there is still great opportunity and as we are already competing successfully against some of the top U.S. platforms, we are looking forward to taking our combined offering of HR, Benefits and Culture, Stateside,” Zehavi told VentureBeat. “We will not be commenting on future investment requirements at this point but you can see from those who have already invested in us, that we are well positioned for the future.”
Indeed, having U.S.-based Battery Ventures lead this funding round does lend genuine credence to Hibob’s efforts to infiltrate the U.S. market.
“HR is evolving from a compliance-only function to a strategic business role,” added Battery Ventures general partner Scott Tobin. “It needs to be able to consolidate and simplify its administrative responsibilities so that it can be freed up to convert the energy and passion that young people arrive with into long-term engagement. We believe Hibob’s highly experienced team has an intrinsic understanding of how to address these core issues that businesses must solve.”
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