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Technology in human resources has traditionally focused on making life easier for administrators rather than employees, according to Kenjo CEO David Padilla.

COVID-19 gave rise in remote working could lead to employee dissatisfaction if not dealt with, something he hopes to solve with his HR tech startup which has just raised $5.5 million in fresh funding.

“In HR, Covid has meant that remote work comes in which has created new problems around issues like engagement, communication, culture, onboarding, performance, etc,” Padilla told Business Insider. “The value proposition for employees didn’t exist 10 years ago but the power balance between employee and employer has totally changed. Flexibility, career development, and growth are now key factors.”

To that end, Kenjo offers a suite of services to small and medium businesses (up to 1000 employees) across Germany, Spain, and Latin America to help with employee engagement and communication. Kenjo previously raised $1.9 million in seed funding from investors including Wefox CEO Julian Teicke but has now raised what it says is the largest HR tech seed round of the year from N26 backer Redalpine.

Covid is helping to fuel a boom in HR tech in what could be a $148 billion market, according to research from CB Insights. Alongside that is an increased understanding that development goals should be a priority for HR teams.

A recent study from PwC found that developing people to reach their full potential and improving the employee experience was among the top applications of technology in their businesses.

There was “no pressure” to get funding Padilla said, but he added that conversations about accelerating the company’s growth plan were the core of the decision.

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