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Activant is proud to announce that we have led WorkMotion’s $24mn Series A and are backing founders Carsten, Felix, and Karim on their mission to make it seamless for any organization to hire and manage remote teams across the globe.
Investing alongside us are XAnge, Picus Capital, and leading European tech entrepreneurs, including Hybris founder Carsten Thoma, Klarna founder Victor Jacobsson, Personio founder Hanno Renner, Delivery Hero founder Niklas Östberg, and legendary sales expert & investor Carsten Maschmeyer.
We’re also thrilled to say this is our first investment in Germany after opening our office in Berlin earlier in June.
It’s no secret that COVID has shifted the live/work paradigm. One of the grounding assumptions of knowledge work that defined the last century - that employees must live in proximity to and commute to the office - has been dismantled. Work has been decoupled from geography, which presents incredible opportunities. Employees have newfound freedom - they can live outside of urban centers, closer to family, or even bounce across countries - all while avoiding a commute. Employers now have license to hire the best talent anywhere in the world, no matter the geography.
At the same time, the information economy is facing a looming labor shortage. With digital transformation rapidly expanding in every sector of the economy, there simply aren’t enough workers within each country to fill the jobs required. In Europe this is predicted to be a 2 trillion-dollar problem. By 2030, Germany alone is predicted to have a deficit of 4.9mn workers, or an equivalent €630 billion of revenue that they may fail to generate - equal to 15% of GDP today. (Korn Ferry). And the European tech ecosystem is only building momentum - more than a third of all active Unicorns in Europe were minted in the first half of 2021 (Pitchbook). We’re proud to be part of the movement ourselves, but see more rapidly scaling companies as only compounding the labor problem.
The solution is clearly to build distributed teams and hire globally. In Europe, you might think it would be easy to hire across geographies. With only a few time zones, a central currency, and freedom of movement, it seems simple. But each country has its own labor, tax, and compliance regulation that when combined, creates a complex web that is hard for organizations to navigate, especially as they scale.
Thankfully, co-founders Carsten, Felix, and Karim saw this problem and are solving it with WorkMotion. The WorkMotion platform makes it possible for organizations to hire team members anywhere in the world with the click of a button. A single dashboard lets employers manage their distributed workforce and automatically run payroll, all while staying fully compliant on taxes, social security, benefits, and healthcare systems.
We got to know Carsten, Felix, and Karim long before they started the company. They have been leading teams across Europe their whole careers, so they deeply understand the nuances of the market and exactly what their customers need. And it’s paying off: After launching less than a year ago, they have nearly 200 organizations on the platform, including tech leaders like Zalando, Personio, and FreeNow. Their NPS scores are world-class, triple the industry average. They quickly established themselves as a leader in Germany and have recently expanded to service clients in the UK and France.
The WorkMotion team has quietly and quickly built a great example of a true European champion. We are excited to support them in their mission to close the labor gap and enable global organizations to scale with ease.