Leading Human Capital Management (HCM) software vendor CatalystOne Solutions has successfully completed its first acquisition by purchasing Populum, a leading employee engagement and pulse software provider.
This strategic move enhances CatalystOne's extensive suite of tools, services, and modules, particularly strengthening customers’ ability to better understand employee experience to improve well-being and performance. Additionally, it expands CatalystOne's reach, reinforcing its position as a leading HCM solution provider.
CatalystOne's cloud-based HR platform already supports a wide spectrum of HR functions, including employee master data management, talent and succession planning, continuous performance management, and competence development.
Adding Populum's software to the platform will empower customers with a more seamless integration to their HR master data. Customers can now measure their employee experience, assess the health of their organisational culture, and gain insights and recommended actions through a unified platform.
The move aligns perfectly with CatalystOne's long-term growth plans and its strategic objective to become a major player in Europe within HR Tech both through organic growth and acquisitions of select high-quality HR tech companies.
CatalystOne has experienced rapid ARR growth organically, at an average of around 30% per year over the past seven years. ARR passed the important milestone of 200 million NOK in 2023, and the company has delivered consistent growth over several years with very limited external capital. CatalystOne now has over 200 employees serving the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish markets. Meanwhile, its approximately 350,000 users are spread throughout the globe.
CatalystOne has twice been featured in Deloitte’s Fast 50 list – a programme that recognises and profiles fast growing Norwegian tech companies. The company also has plans for IPO listing on the main list at Oslo Stock Exchange, a move that is supported by major Swedish investors Neqst.
Populum too has experienced impressive growth, with an outstanding 70% growth in ARR in 2023. ARR currently stands at 22 million SEK. The team consists of 17 employees, serving Northern European markets from their office in Stockholm, Sweden. Populum currently serves about 130,000 global users.
Last year Populum was named a Gasell by Swedish business newspaper Dagens industri. The criteria to reach Gasell status includes strong organic growth, positive operating profit over time, and overall healthy operation.
Excited about the acquisition, CatalystOne CEO Avtar Jasser says: "This acquisition is a pivotal step in aligning with our company's mission and long-term strategy. We have worked with Populum for some years, so we know that they are a great fit for both our customers and for us.
“They offer AI-enabled employee engagement technology, in today's challenging business landscape, which is characterised by recruitment and retention hurdles, and hybrid working. We believe this software will play a critical role in addressing some of these challenges."
Picture: Avtar Jasser, CEO at CatalystOne, and Johannes Midtbö, CEO at Populum.
Populum's CEO Johannes Midtbö emphasises the benefits of the solution for customers: "Our employee survey offers businesses a powerful tool to drive continuous improvements and ensure teams are moving in the desired direction through actionable employee experience insights. Leveraging AI to analyse comments, our software quickly extracts essential topics along with sentiment analysis."
Understanding employee experience is paramount for businesses as it has a direct impact on various aspects of organisational success. A positive employee experience leads to heightened levels of engagement, increased productivity, and improved employee retention.
Furthermore, a positive employee experience can significantly mitigate turnover rates, which can be financially burdensome for businesses. According to The Work Institute's 2020 Retention Report, it costs an average of 33% of an employee's annual salary to replace them. By investing in employee experience, businesses can not only enhance their performance but also save on recruitment and training expenses, all while building a more stable and skilled workforce.
The acquisition marks a significant milestone in CatalystOne’s commitment to providing innovative solutions that empower organisations to thrive in today's competitive landscape.
“We are confident that this strategic move will not only benefit our valued customers but also reinforce our position as a leading HCM platform provider dedicated to enhancing employee experiences and driving success in the workplace,” concludes Jasser.