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Enterprise cloud software giant Workday has announced plans to acquire data-driven human resources (HR) startup Peakon in an all-cash deal worth $700 million.

Founded in 2005, Workday has emerged as a major player in the SaaS software sphere, offering myriad products across the finance, HR, and business planning realm. The company has been on a tear over the past year, with its shares rising more than 60% since last March for a market cap of more than $53 billion.

Acquisitions have played a major part in Workday’s growth over the past decade, with more than a dozen deals spanning analytics, team collaboration, machine learning, identity management, business planning, and more. One of its biggest deals to date was back in 2018, when it bought enterprise performance management (EPM) platform Adaptive Insights in a $1.6 billion deal.

Peakon, for its part, was founded out of Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014 and had raised $68 million in external funding. This included its $57 million series B round from big-name backers like Atomico that closed in 2019. In a nutshell, Peakon is a SaaS platform that helps businesses better engage with their employees and establish sentiment through ongoing surveys. It’s very much a data-driven platform, one that generates real-time insights to help businesses reduce churn and retain their top workers.


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Peakon: Onboarding

Above: Peakon: Onboarding

Data-infused HR platforms are on something of a streak. Just last month, Hibob raised $70 million for a platform that offers various smart onboarding tools to automate workflows for new employees, for example.

With Peakon under its wing, Workday says it will now be able to offer its customers a “continuous listening platform,” replete with real-time visibility into worker sentiment and productivity. This is particularly important in the current global climate, with remote work very much the order of the day — being able to better engage with a distributed workforce through continuous feedback should position companies to adapt and respond.

Workday said it expects the deal to close by the end of April 2021.

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