Pento, a Danish startup working on a better payroll experience for companies and employees, has raised $2.8 million in seed funding.
Leading the round is Point Nine Capital and Seedcamp, with participation from a number of smaller funds and angel investors, including departing Atomico Partner Mattias Ljungman. The company had previously raised $700,000 from the likes of Preseed Ventures, and Futuristic.vc.
Founded by Jonas Bøgh Larsen (CEO) and Emil Hagbarth (CTO) in 2016, Pento offers a SaaS for companies wanting to automate their payroll and offer complementary features to employees, such as user-friendly access to pay history and personal pay-related data. The startup is live in Denmark with over 400 customers and says a U.K. launch is happening soon.
“Payroll is a very manual process for most companies, which causes errors and is super time-consuming,” Larsen tells me. “The process usually includes a lot of manual tasks like updating spreadsheets, sending emails with personal information, making manual bank transfers, manually keying in data from HR software, and much more. We have built a SaaS product that automates all of this”.
The current feature set of Pento include things like tax reporting, pension reporting, payslip generation, payouts to employees and tax authorities, and bookkeeping. “[This] means payroll admins can run the whole payroll process in one single product, usually in a matter of minutes rather than hours,” claims Larsen.
Typical Pento customers are companies with 1-150 employees, although the startup is also seeing quite a lot of demand from bigger companies too. It operates a classic SaaS model, charging a monthly subscription per seat.
“We currently charge £3 per employee per month for our basic plan, and charge £7 per employee per month for more support and more features,” explains the Pento CEO.
Meanwhile, competitors are said to fall into three camps: Traditional payroll outsourcing; older payroll software products like Sage, Brightpay and MoneySoft; and newer competitors like Payfit and Xero Payroll. (There’s also Duane Jackson’s latest upstart, Staffology Payroll, which looks to be similar to Pento on the pure SaaS side.)
“Contrary to other newer payroll products like Payfit and Xero, Pento has a 100% focus on payroll, not HR or accounting, and we will much rather integrate to other products in the ecosystem than try to build it all ourselves,” adds Larsen.