HR software and service provider Visma Raet splits into two separate companies

Visma, a cloud-based HR and payroll software provider to small, medium, and large organizations, announced it split Visma | Raet into two separate companies: Visma | Raet and Peple.

Formed in the 90s and headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Visma comprises a collection of entrepreneurial companies, each with its own business autonomy and go-to-market freedom. Since its inception, the vendor, backed by private equity firm HgCapital, has made hundreds of acquisitions, particularly fast-growing cloud software companies with proven technology and customer-friendly products. For example, in 2022, Visma acquired 42 companies, with dozens more in 2023.

Through its acquisitions, the brand expanded beyond its Norwegian borders across the Nordic region, Benelux, Continental Europe, and Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru). In part, its expansion across the Benelux and Latin America is thanks to the acquisition of Raet in 2018, acquiring 100% of its shares.

Raet, founded in 1965 and headquartered in the Netherlands, is a cloud-based HR software and services provider that, at the time of its acquisition, made €165 million in revenue, employing over 1,200 people and serving over 10,000 organizations. At the time, Visma stated that the acquisition was mutually beneficial, with significant opportunities for growth by “leveraging the synergies between Raet’s current offering and Visma’s overall HRM strategy.” Combined, Visma | Raet would consist of over 3,000 developers, big enough to “continue delivering even more sustainable solutions for new and existing customers.”

Visma Raet splits into two separate companies

The reasoning behind the split

Fast-forward to 2024, Visma Group decided to take a new approach by splitting Visma | Raet into two separate companies: Visma | Raet and Peple. The rationale behind the split is to enable both companies to focus on their own product portfolio. Visma | Raet, with its HR and payroll software Youforce, predominantly targeting the healthcare sector and central and local government, serving clients such as the City of Groningen, Apeldoorn, Wierden, and the Province of Zuid-Holland.

The newly formed Peple mainly caters to the education sector through its (Visma | Raet recently migrated almost all customers in the education segment to the portfolio) and HRM & Payroll products with some additional business in healthcare and the private sector. Customers include Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, and Education Agency Meppel.

Visma Group claims that by creating two specialized software entities, both companies are able to better and faster serve and anticipate the needs of customers in specific segments. The move aligns with Visma’s strategy, leveraging niche companies focused on optimizing and automating role-based and business-critical processes across its industries and markets.

Visma | Raet and Peple will each leverage their own sales and marketing teams, customer support, product development teams, HR, financial, and IT departments and operate independently, with their own strategy and software portfolio.

Gerard Schiebroek, currently Managing Director at the organization, will continue to be at the helm of Visma | Raet, managing a workforce of approximately 450 employees, while Peter Verdaasdonk, founder of Visma | Advitrae will lead the operations at Peple and its team of 100 employees. Both companies are located in Amersfoort, the Netherlands.

According to Peter Verdaasdonk, Managing Director at Peple, the newly created company (Peple) is established in collaboration with experienced individuals dedicated to a specific software product and its markets. The venture will operate under the Visma brand, benefiting from the Group’s support and resources necessary for a successful launch.

PAC's opinion

For Visma Group, comprising hundreds of small, fast-growing (cloud) software vendors, the separation of Visma | Raet makes sense. It aligns with its motto, “Connected by Software – Driven by People”. More importantly, it needs to make sense for the customer.

By separating product portfolios and operating autonomously, all efforts, resources, and innovation at Visma | Raet and Peple are channeled into one strategy, enabling each of the companies to better serve their existing and new customers as each entity has its own sales and marketing teams, customer support, product development teams, HR, financial and IT department.

The separation also mitigates office politics and bureaucracies, which often impact the prioritization of R&D and innovation budgets within businesses offering multiple product lines while catering to multiple industries and segments.

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