HR: Silae exceeds 100 million annual revenue

Posted on Sep 5, 2022, 6am

Times are changing in French technology. With the slowdown in fundraising and the fall in valuations, the new financial indicator increasingly presented by start-ups is business volume. Payroll management specialist Silae announces that it has surpassed 100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR), a benchmark metric in the world of subscription software (SaaS) start-ups.

This symbolic threshold was crossed thanks to the acquisition of three start-ups: Jenji (expense report management), isiRH (HR task management) and DSN Plus (HR data usage). Silae paid €70 million for these three acquisitions – but does not specify the individual amounts – all made in cash.

Brands will disappear, with the exception of Jenji, who has a large account positioning, while Silae is targeting SMEs. And the 100 employees from the three startups will join the ranks of the publisher, whose workforce currently stands at 250.

target counters

“We want to become a key player in HRIS [système d’information des RH, NDLR] “Summed up Thomas Bourgeois, managing director of Silae. Last year, the young shooter created in Aix-en-Provence had already started this diversification by getting its hands on eDoc (dematerialization of documents) and NewDeal (HRIS).

Since its creation in 2013, Silae offers only one payroll management tool that has established itself in the fabric of French SMEs. To date, the company generates 6 million payslips per month for 800,000 companies.

This success is due to their sales approach. Unlike Payfit unicorn, which primarily markets its platform directly to SMEs, Silae targets accountants (80% of its revenue) and software publishers. This strategy allows him to acquire customers faster and for less. Another advantage: its tool is completely and constantly adapted to the legislation.

A troubled investor?

“We take into account 830 collective agreements in France [versus 150 chez Payfit, NDLR] and we update our tool every week thanks to our legal support unit. Traditional payroll players are no longer able to keep up with the evolution of the sector because the new decrees are one after the other”, says Thomas Bourgeois, referring to EBP, Sage One and ADP.

“The payslips are good, there are never any problems verifying the Urssaf and it is very easy to find out where each number comes from”, confirms Arthur Waller, general manager of Pennylane, software dedicated to accountants.

The only point that poses a problem for some of its clients: its majority shareholder since 2020. Silver Lake ($45 billion under management) is sometimes perceived as the “American big bad”, according to Arthur Waller, knowing he is Cegid , an emblematic French player in the world of administrative software, is also offered in 2016.

“Accountants who are very dependent on Silae fear that rates will increase”, indicates the general manager of Pennylane. The young scion of Aix currently charges 2 euros per payroll, the market price.

Other acquisitions to come

French alternatives continue to be created, such as Yeap, founded by the former deputy general manager of the accounting and tax management platform Ibiza Software, or Weekera, whose capital is 32% held by Drakarys, the Order’s investment fund.

To increase its revenue, Silae has new products resulting from its acquisitions and from the largest companies. The nugget targets 12 million monthly payrolls by 2026.

Present only in France, Silae also has European ambitions. “Silver Lake has a strong presence in Europe and therefore a very detailed understanding of this market”, emphasizes Thomas Bourgeois, who will deploy HRIS and expense reporting products (Jenji is already present in Switzerland and Germany) in several countries and acquisitions abroad for the part of the payroll, very difficult to replicate due to the heterogeneity of labor legislation.

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