Factorial wants to change the world by becoming the leader in workplace management all over the world and it is now closer to achieve its goal after raising €2.8M from Creandum, Point Nine Capital and K Fund.

Pau Ramón and Jordi Romero

International funds Creandum and Point Nine Capital (investors in companies such as Spotify and Typeform, respectively) are participating in this financing round, together with the Spanish fund K fund that add up to the € 500,000 that were raised more than a year ago from several local entrepreneurs.


“The ease with which they solve a problem as complex as employee management seemed just spectacular”, says Iñaki Arrola, general partner of K Fund, one of the venture capital funds that participated in the financing round. “Since we launched K Fund in July 2016, we have made a significant bet for SaaS companies, which account for more than half of our portfolio, and also for startups settled in Barcelona. Factorial fits like a glove with our investment strategy,” adds Arrola.

Factorial was born in itnig as the initiative of three engineers (Jordi Romero, Bernat Farrero and Pau Ramón) who, after managing different technology companies, decided to develop another way of carrying out administrative tasks and employee management. That was the main reason for creating Factorial; changing the current work paradigm. This cloud tool not only turns payroll and employee contracts into a child’s play that everyone can understand, but also automates their generation; connects it directly with public administrations and allows managers and labor experts to interact and draw conclusions in real time.

After a little more than a year since its establishment, Factorial has managed to make a difference in the daily life of more than 10,000 customers thanks to the free services of its software. The program allows you to manage absences and vacation of employees, their benefits, and even more recently, the management and creation of contracts and payslips in just a few clicks. All this with the ease of a cloud storing.

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T.

The new time and attendance law will kill innovation in Spain and Europe

Simple solutions or “one fits all” policies are easy to market by populist governments but they are sometimes at the expense of certain sectors and their people. This time the affected party is innovation and value added services, to a point that puts in jeopardy our (already weak) spot in the global competitiveness landscape.

I’ve always told my teams that I do not hire their time, but rather their talent and potential: their brains, their energy and passion and their willing to make a difference and impact our clients and the world through them. Innovative companies try to get in existing markets and solve things in complete different ways, some go as far as creating new markets from scratch. They all have in common that their mission is extremely hard, sometimes impossible (thus most fail along the way). The key for their success is how they manage to convince their teams that everything they do is not a job, but a religion. They are changing the world and that is something worth spending time and making history.

I can tell if somebody is motivated by their job by looking at their eyes while they talk about their challenges and ideas. Best people don’t work, they play. They make their challenges their hobbies. I’ve had many conversations at 1 am in the office, after some beers and sushi, before even realizing what time it is. Only when a job makes this kind of conditions happen, the wheel of significant value creation really stirs and great things come from it.

It is very hard to create a culture in which people feel so empowered that they are capable of anything. In my experience, it helps granting absolute flexibility. I don’t remember the last time I approved vacations to my team, or I paid attention to their schedules, or the days in which they worked from home or the office. This is not the kind of conversations I want to have with them. My relationship with my team is based on trust, and it is based on one single (often repetitive) conversation: how can we do more and better, how can we grow faster, how can we raise the bar. Little it matters to me whether they contribute to this questions from the beach in Canary Islands or spending many hours in the office.

However, the government today decided that it is a great idea in the 21th century that all companies like ours should make everybody clock in and clock out by law. I’m now obliged to add people’s time and attendance into our conversation. We now have to treat all jobs like production lines in factories (amidst the era of hyper automation and robotization). They go as far as having us registering accurate pauses for lunch. Unfortunately they don’t include how should we manage the time spent in the chill-out area, or when having long coffees in the outside terrace, or spending the afternoon in ping pong championships. Should we clock-in and clock-out every time we do that too?

When I travel I always get asked how is the Spanish ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation developing, I always defend our potential to become a leading actor in science and technology,  besides our current reputation for tapas, toros and siesta. We previously analysed the many initiatives taking place in the city of Barcelona. But my question is: is there anybody in the government actually helping us to make this happen?

The new law will come to place the next 12th of May. At Factorial we developed a free feature, so companies can instantly become compliant with the law. Interestingly enough, almost immediately after launching this feature people started developing tools using our API to automate clocking or connecting it with Slack and other interfaces. It looks like after all there will always be people willing to work on relevant things and not waste their energy in bureaucratic traps.

PD: You can find more information about the law in this article.