Human resources tech startup Humi is expanding its platform’s capabilities with the acquisition of Winnipeg-headquartered Ameego and its online restaurant scheduling software.
The acquisition enables Humi to add Ameego’s scheduling software to its platform that already includes payroll, insurance, and benefits.
“As we continued to scale Humi’s product suite we came to a decision point: build or buy scheduling functionality.”
Humi announced its intention to scale up its platform in May after the startup secured $31 million CAD in a Series B raise.
“As we continued to scale Humi’s product suite we came to a decision point: build or buy scheduling functionality,” said Simon Bourgeois, CEO and co-founder of Humi. “We had gotten to know Ameego over several years and knew there was no better team or product to execute this essential piece of Humi’s product roadmap.”
Tim Hortons, Boston Pizza, and Moxies are among the companies that will use the new platform, according to Humi. The startups are not disclosing the financial terms of the deal, which closed in mid-April.
Humi and Ameego had been aware of each other for nearly five years, and had a group of overlapping customers. As both startups grew, they kept in touch, looking at ways they could potentially help each other. It finally reached a point where the two startups decided that what they were doing independently would work much better together.
Bourgeois noted the most obvious plus for both startups is combining HR, payroll and scheduling into one solution. “If there was a third thing with [peanut] butter and jelly: peanut butter, jelly and bread,” he laughed. “These are pieces of software that are truly meant to live together.”
Humi’s suite of HR software provides Canadian businesses with an all-in-one tool to manage HR, payroll, insurance, and benefits. To that, Ameego is adding its labour management software that uses historical data gathered from a customer’s point of sale solution to create a unique and optimized schedule for employees.
Bourgeois noted the number one thing Humi’s clients wanted was scheduling software, whereas Ameego’s clients were looking for broader functionality that supports their people on the HR and payroll side. “The interest and need for combined solutions in this space has never been as acute as it is today,” he said.
He pointed out that Ameego historically has focused almost exclusively on restaurants, and in particular, chain restaurants. But Bourgeois said the combined focus of the two firms will be on SMEs, Humi’s main target market.
For the time being, Ameego will continue as a stand-alone business and brand, but the long-term expectation is that the products and businesses will become fully integrated. Humi has about 150 staff while Ameego has 15.
Founded in 2016, Humi started as a cloud-based web app that stored employee data. It has since expanded to support employers in managing HR, benefits, and payroll. In addition to its Series B round in May, the startup raised a $15 million Series A round in 2020 and has secured a total funding to date of $51 million.
The HR or human capital management (HCM) space that Humi plays in is a competitive one. Traditional players include big names like Oracle, Sage, SAP, Workday, and ADP. According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the market for HCM software has grown significantly in recent years.
According to a March BCG report, more than $12 billion in venture capital went into the HR tech market in 2021, with the rate of investment more than tripling from the prior year. This was due, BCG said, to challenges arising in the talent management space.
In terms of Canadian startups, competition includes Avanti Software, a cloud-based payroll and HR company that raised $25 million CAD in February; and HR startup Alongside, which raised $8 million CAD in February and acquired jobs site CareerBeacon from Irving family-owned media company Brunswick News in 2021.
Founded in 2003, Ameego started in a basement as a two person operation that set out to solve the challenges experienced around scheduling while they were working in restaurants. The startup raised one seed round for an undisclosed amount.
“This merger represents a win for Humi and Ameego, but more importantly for our combined client base,” said Ameego’s Kris Edwards, who co-founded the startup alongside Jason Wagenaar. “Everything Ameego clients love will remain the same and everything they’ve been asking for, we now have the resources and expertise to build and scale.”
Photo courtesy Humi.