We’ve raised $2.8M from Point Nine, Seedcamp, and more — here’s why, how, and next steps

Jonas Bøgh
Sep 10, 2019 · 5 min read

Hi there 👋 I’m Jonas, co-founder and CEO of Pento. We’re building a much better payroll experience for companies and their employees. Hundreds of companies already use Pento to run payroll in Denmark, and we have just started inviting the first British companies on board from our UK waitlist.

Today we’re announcing that we’ve teamed up with some of the best investors in the game. We’re really excited about this next chapter and can’t wait to tell you more about our plans!

But first — what’s the big deal with payroll?

Running payroll today requires you to juggle several spreadsheets, emails, inputs from co-workers, manual bank transfers, and PDFs to make sure everyone gets paid correctly, and on time. It’s a very manual and time-consuming process, and for most finance and HR departments, it’s their least favourite task. If you’ve ever been on that side of the table, you know what I’m talking about.

This is where we come in! Pento makes it extremely easy and efficient to run payroll. We’ve built a product that lets payroll admins (first-timers and pros) run the entire payroll workflow in one place, including everything from tax calculations to payments. It’s all fully automated, and all calculations happen in real-time. Most of our customers can run their monthly payroll in minutes. Yes, minutes.

Here’s what it looks like:

This is the first step of running payroll in Pento. You can click on an employee to see their details. Maybe even add a bonus. If you make a change to an employee’s salary, you will see that it instantly updates the calculation in real-time. WYSIWYG.
This is what it looks like when you’re done. And when we say done, we mean it. Pento automatically reports taxes and pension contributions, generates payslips, sends them to your employees, pays everyone, and takes care of bookkeeping. That’s it, you just ran payroll.

Raising our seed round

Up until now, we’ve been extremely conscious about building the right product. With an NPS of 79, extremely low churn, and some really strong signals of demand from bigger companies and new markets, we felt it was time to take Pento to the next level and pour more gas on the fire. So we decided to raise a seed round.

If you’ve ever been part of a startup (as a founder or an early employee), you know that very few things work out exactly as you would expect. Our fundraising process was no exception.

I had planned to start fundraising in September (right about now). That way, I was sure most of the investors would be back from vacation, and I could run a super tight process (smart, right?).

Narrator: “… he would soon realise that nothing would go according to the plan.”

In June, I went to Paris to attend SaaStr Europa. One of the investors I had talked to previously was Christoph Janz at Point Nine Capital. Like many others, I’m a big fan of his blog, and have been very impressed by the companies Christoph and Point Nine have invested in over the years (e.g. Zendesk, Revolut, Delivery Hero, Front, and many more). After a short chat at SaaStr, we agreed to set up a meeting.

In that meeting, it quickly became clear that Christoph would be the perfect partner for Pento going forward. Fortunately, he seemed to be the kind of person who’s excited about payroll automation (that’s not a given, surprisingly…), and we ended up spending the next 3 weeks digging deeper and talking about the future of Pento.

After 3 intense weeks, Christoph decided to give us a term sheet. The only criterion he had was that we were not allowed to mess with his ROI on Danish startups — we’re number 2 after Zendesk (if you don’t count Chainanalysis), so that should be fine…

We decided to say yes. It was an easy decision. At no point was Emil, my co-founder, and I in doubt about whether this was what we wanted to do. Having worked with Christoph and the team at Point Nine for some time now, I’m absolutely certain this was the right call.

In addition to the great team at Point Nine, we are lucky to have Sia Houchangnia of Seedcamp, Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund (who also invested in our previous startup when she was a partner at 500 Startups in SF), and Mattias Ljungman (former Atomico co-founder, now starting Moonfire) join the round as well. Not only are they all extremely good at what they do — they are also very nice people to be around (something we appreciate as we get older and wiser…)

Our existing investors, including Christian Jantzen (not to be confused with Christoph Janz…) at Futuristic.vc, and Preseed Ventures, are once again investing in this round, proving how important it is to pick the right investors from the very beginning. Building payroll software is not something you do overnight, and the support from our early investors is one of the main reasons we’ve made it this far.

The next steps

There is so much we can do to make payroll more efficient for companies, and more transparent, flexible, and user-friendly for employees. Full automation unlocks so many new ways for modern workplaces to give their employees the experiences they deserve. Building the best possible payroll workflow for companies and payroll admins is just the beginning — being an employee on the receiving end of payroll is still extremely intransparent and inflexible. We’re going to change that.

We’re very excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to show you what the future of payroll looks like. The best part is that I am certain we have the right team to make it happen — and we’re just getting started.

  • 🇩🇰 If you work for a Danish company that’s still dealing with old payroll software, you can sign up here or request a demo here.
  • 🇬🇧 If you work for a British company and believe the payroll process could use an update, feel free to sign up to our waitlist and we’ll be in touch soon!
  • 🌍 If your payroll process is a nightmare, but your company isn’t based in either Denmark or the UK, we’d love to hear from you anyway. Maybe your country is up next.

P.S. We’re soon going to open new positions at Pento, so if you think what we’re building is exciting, we’d love to hear from you. We’ll add new roles to this page, but feel free to reach out even if your desired role isn’t listed here — we’re happy to chat!

Thanks to Christian Jantzen and Christoph Janz

Jonas Bøgh

Written by

Building a much better payroll experience for companies and their employees @pentohq.

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