A few years ago Richard Schrems worked as a human resources consultant in Riyadh and at one point he tried to implement a technical solution for his clients to help them improve their huge teams, but he couldn’t find a local solution.
Schrems told australiabusinessblog.com that he needed a system that focused on the employee, but found much of the HR software he interacted with “very complex,” with “a lot of features, a lot of functionality aimed at making the lives of HR managers easier.” executives”. , but with little regard for ease of use by employees. “This makes adoption difficult,” he said.
His findings were not unique to him as recently study showed increasing dissatisfaction with HR technology providers – half of respondents said they plan to change their systems for new technologies that provide a better user experience and take remote working into account.
Driven to bridge the gap, in 2019, Schrems (CEO) along with Christoph Czichna (COO) and Dragan Nikolaic (CPO), to launch Palm.hr, based in Riyadh and whose clients include Hala, Thmanyah, the Saudi Venture Capital Company, Mozn, Jeeny, Rabbit. Schrems says the HR tech startup has experienced major growth since launch, with annual recurring revenue (ARR) doubling every six months.
Following this growth, it plans to expand into Egypt and the UAE, while doubling down in Saudi Arabia, against the backdrop of $5 million pre-Series A funding it has raised, in a round led by the in Europe-based VC Speedinvest, which marked its debut in Saudi Arabia, and RAED Ventures, with participation from MENA-focused VC firm Wamda Capital.
“We are on a mission to transform HR technology and employee experience in the Middle East and North Africa, and ideally beyond… by creating a mobile first experience,” said Schrems.
Philip Specht, partner, Speedinvest said in a statement: “As EU-based investors, we have seen companies such as Personio and Factorial bring in billions of dollars in the HR space. With a similar but localized approach, we believe Palm.hr is poised to become the leading player in the MENA region and wider Arab world. The company has an excellent team, a superior value proposition in terms of features, integrations and UX, and a strong customer love. We are delighted to support Palm.hr, reflecting our excitement about the broader start-up ecosystem in the MENA.”
Palm.hr automates payroll, track leave and absences, and track staff performance, in addition to employee self-service features that make internal communication between staff easy. It also automates other HR-related workflow functions, including enabling or disabling employees, and is cross-border configurable, making it easy to adapt to local labor laws and employee regulations in different markets.
For example, in Saudi Arabia, Palm.hr is also integrated with government services such as Mudad for digital payroll and compliance, on behalf of the country’s ministry of labor; the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) and Muqeem, the data platform of the foreign employee.
“With Palm.hr you can handle your payroll completely, you can actually make the payments because we are integrated with the government payroll system; apply for visas because we are integrated into the government’s visa system, and update people’s social insurances because we are integrated into the social insurance system,” said Schrems.
The company also plans to add new features and products that will give employees easy access to loans, equity financing and insurance products, for example.
“We want to merge HR tech with fintech and insurtech… so that employees can do everything, such as buying or renting assets, purchasing health or travel insurance, within our solution. We want to make Palm.hr part of our employees’ daily lives,” says Schrems.
As it embarks on expansion and more product development, Palm.hr hopes to capture a significant share of global HR technology marketwhich is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.08% to $53.3 billion by 2028.