This Monday, September 5, Silae announced the acquisition of DSN+ (from the Click’NDecide group), IsiRH (including MegRH) and Jenji for approximately 70 million euros. Silae, a payroll management specialist, also announces that his annual regular income (ARR) has exceeded $100 million, qualifying him for centaur status.
Silae, founded in 2010 in Aix-en-Provence, offers companies, in particular through Chartered Accountants, a payroll solution. At the moment, scaling covers 40% of French companies, especially those with less than 250 employees (60% market share). This is equivalent to 6 million payrolls issued per month for 850 collective agreements and 800,000 companies.
It issues payrolls for 4,500 partners, 80% of which are chartered accountants. “This is a very interesting market for us because a CPA is a local player who has to go to a hairdresser, tattoo artist, restaurateur or local start-up and has to fulfill the obligations of these professions,” admits Thomas Bourgeois, CEO of Silae, at L’Usine digitale.
EXPANSION IN THE HRIS MARKET
With these three new acquisitions, Silae intends to offer a complete HR solution. Using IsiRH, Silae aims to “manage remote work,” the CEO points out. Indeed, IsiRH offers an app that allows employees to notify when they are working face-to-face or remotely. “This allows you to have an idea of the required number of offices and manage working hours and absences,” explains Thomas Bourgeois.
Silae will combine this functionality with the proposed Jenji, an expense report editing solution and thus facilitate hierarchical review and direct payment of professional expenses.
Finally, the Aix-based extension has taken over DNS+, an automatic social management tool for HR and CSE, which is owned by the Click’NDecide group, to provide an overview of the evolution of wages and the tensions faced by employees. professions in France. “We have a database of 6 million employees, and therefore we have a great opportunity to ensure wage transparency, especially in the context of inflation and the pandemic,” says Director Silae.
These three acquisitions are on top of the acquisitions of eDocGroup and NewDeal in 2021 and bring Silae closer to its core goal of breaking the 12 million payroll milestone by 2026. The increase boasts growth of 30% per year. and announces that it has surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue (a metric most commonly used by SaaS-type companies).
The company has also been able to benefit from the real “business awareness” and “digitalization of processes” brought about by the pandemic, the director notes. “Partial unemployment or even an inflationary bonus had a very significant impact on the wage bill, in part because they were introduced very quickly. This made it difficult for a company with a payroll manager to follow legislative and regulatory changes,” explains Thomas Bourgeois.
Silae uses the public cloud (Microsoft azur) to take advantage of “much faster responsiveness and an added layer of security.” The software is updated weekly to constantly adapt to the legal situation.
ACHIEVING SME AND ETI
In 2020, Silae was acquired by US development fund Silver Lake Partners for approximately €600 million. This new owner brought with him a new management team, including Thomas Bourgeois, who joined Silae after founding Dhatim in 2008 (an AI-based accounting automation solution provider) sold to Cegid (Silver Lake) in March 2021.
The new director had to face a number of challenges, in particular a very strong workforce growth. “In the 18 months since the acquisition of Silver Lake, we have grown from 100 employees to 250 and now to 350 thanks to the acquisitions we just announced,” says Thomas Bourgeois. We also had to make technical improvements, “there was not enough investment in the platform part, so we spent a lot of time, energy and money on the architecture,” he clarifies.
From now on, Silae does not intend to stop on such a good path. The company plans to issue 12 million payrolls, expanding its target audience to SMEs and ETIs. “We have created an entire distribution structure through integrators and value-added resellers (VARs) who are selected to integrate business systems, in particular ERP,” admits the CEO.
Silae is already present in the 250 to 5,000-employee segment with a 15% market share. The Aix-based company plans to find another 400 partners to achieve its goals in this sector. To support its ambitions, scaling does not rule out other acquisitions. “We are listening because there is still potential in the market,” concludes Thomas Bourgeois.