Peakon, a platform that helps companies engage with workers and measure employee sentiment, has added an extra $35 million to its previously announced series B round, which means the Danish startup has now raised a total of $57 million for the round.
The extension was led by new investor Atomico, with participation from existing backers Balderton Capital, EQT Ventures, Idinvest Partners, and Sunstone.
Founded out of Copenhagen in 2014, Peakon provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that helps businesses “engage” with employees through ongoing surveys. However, the company stresses that it’s not purely a “survey company” — rather, it calls itself a “data company” that generates immediate insights to help businesses reduce churn and retain their top workers.
Beyond all this, Peakon said its platform uses the same standardized questions for all customers, making it easier for companies to compare and contrast levels of engagement with competitors in their industry.
“Companies are still struggling to measure their most important asset: their people,” said Atomico partner Mattias Ljungman, who now joins Peakon’s board of directors. “We were blown away by Peakon’s rigorous, data-driven approach to this problem.”
At the helm
Peakon has a number of notable founders at the helm, including chief growth officer Kasper Hulthin (who cofounded social collaboration platform Podio, which was acquired by Citrix in 2012), CEO Phil Chambers (who previously served as head of technology at eBay-owned classifieds site Gumtree), Qype (which was later bought by Yelp), and Podio.
Prior to this extension round, Peakon had raised $33 million since its inception, and with another $35 million in the bank it plans to double down on its U.S. growth and expand its product and engineering teams. In addition to its Danish HQ, Peakon counts offices in London, Raleigh, North Carolina, and as of a few months ago New York City, an office that is now headed up by Hulthin. The company has 180 employees globally, 18 of which are based in the U.S.
“Peakon had a game-changing 2018,” Chambers said. “We’ve successfully expanded operations across the globe, including a substantial office in New York led by my cofounder Kasper Hulthin, who relocated to the U.S. from Europe last summer. We expect our U.S. headcount to be more than 50 employees within 12 months.”
While venture capitalists have invested heavily in recruitment-specific platforms to counter an anticipated global workforce crisis, we’ve also seen VC money plowed into the human resources (HR) sphere as companies seek ways to reduce employee turnover. LinkedIn snapped up Peakon competitor Glint last year in a deal reportedly worth $400 million, and Workday acquired Rallyteam, a platform that seeks to retain employees by automatically matching them with relevant jobs, projects, and people.
“As our world continues to change, traditional concepts of work are being redefined,” Ljungman continued. “Workers have to deal with constant change, and this is why it is more important than ever for companies to listen to their employees’ voices and create a positive culture through feedback and engagement. Peakon will be the game-changing difference that companies need to inspire managers and employees to be the best they can be.”