28 Jan 2020

Congratulations to Peakon on Agreeing to Join Workday!

Today, we’d like to extend a big congratulations to Peakon on agreeing to join Workday. This historic partnership with one of the world’s leading HR and finance cloud companies is a testament to all that Peakon has achieved in the last six years and the incredible potential that remains to help empower employees and managers with data.

Peakon was built on a simple but powerful idea: how could modern companies be so adept at measuring and tracking everything from finances to customer experiences, yet have no real-time, data-driven approach to managing their most important asset — teams and people? Many of the world’s most sophisticated companies only survey employees once a year, hardly enough information to make the best decisions about people and culture. The Peakon team believed that if organizations simply listened in a systematic way so they could analyse engagement, they could perform better.

There was strong evidence that companies that did lend an ear would be more successful in the long-term. More employees want flexible work arrangements and increased development opportunities. At the same time, managers and people leaders want new tools to provide the best experience across an employee’s career.

Peakon helps make it possible to capture employee voices in a real-time, data-driven way. Peakon provides managers a pool of rich, anonymous feedback, enabling better-informed decisions about people and culture. This dataset also gives companies a high-level view of performance and employee engagement over time and the ability to compare themselves to industry peers.

Atomico Talent Partner Dan Hynes, who has served on Peakon’s board, says: “Peakon is doing something revolutionary: enabling people leaders to be as rigorous as CFOs with data. They shine a light on data’s ability to help change cultures and management and give people leaders a seat at the decision-making table. Based on my experiences at Google, Cisco and Skype and working with dozens of fast-growing tech companies, I knew Peakon is a game changer for helping build better cultures and employee experiences.”

Peakon is well on its way to solving a fundamental problem of the modern company, but we’re embarrassed to say that we almost did not have the chance to work with this incredible team. We missed Peakon’s Series A, but kept a close eye on the company and became convinced that something special was happening. We knew we had to rectify our error. And fast.

Dan remembers: “I emailed [Peakon co-founder] Phil and asked for 30 minutes. He didn’t reply, so I left it a couple days, then emailed him again. No reply. I tried one more time asking for 29 minutes, and miraculously he came back to me with a date and time. I spent an hour convincing him what big fans of the company we were, and I was open with the fact that we had made a mistake.”

Thankfully, Phil and the team gave us their forgiveness, and our partnership with Peakon was born in 2019.

The founding team — a tenacious group of veteran tech execs — proved time and time again that they could bring in high-calibre talent and execute against their vision. They were tough negotiators, but were also accommodating and down to earth. The whole Peakon team was low ego and high IQ and EQ. They invited Atomicans to join yoga classes in their London office or use a spare desk when they were in the area. We truly felt we were part of the Peakon family.

We were right that something special was happening at Peakon. Six years after founding, Peakon has built a global category leader in employee engagement from Europe. Their 260 employees serve the teams at more than 1,000 companies from EasyJet to Capgemini.

We are so happy that Peakon has found an incredible partner in Workday. It is a validation of the Peakon founders’ original vision from a global leader in people management software, who count 45% of the Fortune 500 companies as customers. The powerful synergies between the Workday and Peakon products will turbocharge the Peakon team’s global ambitions to give a meaningful voice to every employee. In addition, Peakon will be an incredibly important contributor in a post-pandemic world as workstyles and employee needs continue to change.

We at Atomico will continue to be loyal users of Peakon ourselves, and we can’t wait to see the continued impact the team has. Thank you Phil, Dan, Christian and Kasper for letting us play a small part in your journey.

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