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On Workday’s intent to acquire Peakon, the leading employee engagement platform

Today is a historic day for Peakon as the company reveals it has agreed to join one of the leading HR and finance software providers Workday (NASDAQ: $WDAY). On behalf of EQT Ventures, a massive congratulations to both teams over at Peakon and Workday! We have no doubt that Peakon’s fantastic growth journey will accelerate even further as part of the Workday platform, and that this will enable even more organisations around the globe to improve their employee engagement going forward.

From the EQT Ventures perspective, we think Peakon is a great example of how our multi-stage investment strategy helps companies accelerate their growth: after leading the Series A five years ago, EQT Ventures has actively supported the two subsequent funding rounds with additional capital to scale, which helped Peakon raise more than €50m over two years. We also like to think that our collaboration with Peakon has been a good example of how the larger EQT platform can help enterprise focused startups like Peakon: more than 10,000 employees in EQT owned companies have been passionate users of Peakon, accelerating revenue early on in Peakon’s journey.

Reflecting back on why EQT Ventures went all-in to convince the Peakon founders that they should pick us as their Series A lead investor, a couple of things in our investment thesis stand out:

Team, team, team

Already after the first meeting with the Peakon founders Phil, Kasper, Dan and Christian, we were left impressed by their ambition, shared experience and culture. They were later joined by execs who we had some history with, like the phenomenal Neil Ryland (CRO) who worked with my colleague Alastair Mitchell at Huddle, and Simone Goodman who joined as CFO, who I had worked together with at King many years prior. Both of these hires confirmed to us that Phil & team were talent magnets, which is perhaps the most important task of founders as they scale their companies for the long term. (A longer post here)

You need to be data-driven to thrive in the “war for talent”

The teams at Peakon and EQT Ventures were (and continue to be!) jointly convinced that employee engagement data and insight is a core success factor in organizations of all sizes. As we onboarded the EQT Ventures team onto Peakon and started the continuous, data-driven engagement journey ourselves, we saw how powerful these insights could be in improving engagement over time. Even though our journey as shareholders in Peakon will soon be coming to an end, we will continue using the Peakon service for years to come. To us as investors with operational experience from startups, sharing the passion with the founders we team up with has been strongly correlated with success so far.

Watching from the sidelines as the Peakon team has been fighting hard day in and day out over the past five years has been inspirational for us. Like in most start-up success stories, it’s not an “overnight success”, but an event like this one is the result of years and years of passionate work by the whole team, through good times and bad. We applaud and thank you, Team Peakon, for having us along on your journey.

Once again, a big congratulations to the team at Peakon on this historic day!

The EQT Ventures Team

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Multi-stage VC fund, powering the next generation of founders with the support needed to build global success stories

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Lars Jörnow

Lars Jörnow

VC @eqtventures | 3x Dad | Gamer | Chess Player

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