UK startup attracts $7.5m in seed from Silicon Valley to shake up SMEs’ people management

A new startup looking to shake up the way businesses manage their people has secured $7.5m in one of UK’s largest ever seed rounds.

Launching today on an invite-only basis, hibob is a premium, cloud-based system that securely stores all the people data in a business, presenting it in an easy to use platform and enabling instant data visualisation.

The platform estimates it can save businesses on average 36 working days each year by integrating all people management processes across a business into one platform.

This is compared to the likes of spreadsheets, which 90 per cent of HRs still use to complete their daily tasks. Fully integrated and data driven, the new technology also provides insights to help SMEs make informed decisions on employee perks, ultimately improving staff engagement and retention rates, something that’s becoming increasingly important as staff churn now costs UK businesses over £4bn each year.

Having a central information hub available provides SMEs with a quick and simple solution to auto-enrolment and long-term compliance. This will impact over a million SMEs and micro businesses over the next few years following the Pension Reform of 2014.

Ronni Zehavi, CEO & co-founder of hibob, said: “As pressure mounts on SMEs to get pension auto-enrolment sorted, this is the perfect opportunity for businesses to get smarter on how they manage their people overall. As a business owner myself, I found it frustrating that people management seemed to have stagnated as other business processes modernised around it, even though it’s so crucial to success.

“As well as being a powerful admin and management tool, hibob has also been designed to use a company’s data to define and administer all a company’s needs when it comes to benefits (pensions, private medical). It’s the combination of these two elements coupled with a platform that’s easy to use and feels incredibly human that is cutting through with our customers.”

The hibob platform has already gained traction among high profile businesses, attracting more than 150 business customers during its beta phase – including some of the most forward thinking businesses to emerge in recent years, such as Mother London, Nexus, Kano and The Ace Hotel

Andy Medd, Partner at Mother London, said: “As any modern business, we’re keen to make sure we foster a great culture. hibob’s new technology means we get to know our staff better, so we can develop and tailor our offerings specifically to our employees and the people that make us, us. With hibob we’ve finally seen some movement in creating a user friendly HR platform, that looks great and doesn’t waste our time with convoluted processes and design that feels like it’s from the 80s.”

The investment round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley based VC firm which has previously invested in the likes of Skype, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The round also included backing from UK based venture capital firm LocalGlobe, as well as several angel investors well-known to the UK startup scene. Bellass said the money will go towards growing the business and making hibob the go-to HR platform for new, modern businesses that care about their employees.

hibob is currently invite-only – register your interest on