Quick-Fire Questions with Jordi Romero,
CEO and Co-Founder of Factorial
Factorial – a Human Resources software was founded in 2016 to streamline cumbersome human resources processes. Factorial’s HR management software allows you to easily digitalise your processes, allowing you to put your time and attention on coming up with strategies which generate more business for your company.
Over 60,000 companies have already used the HR software! Taking safety very seriously, Factorial protects personal data and documents through a powerful encyption system and a unique access for each user.
Hi Jordi! Tell us about Factorial and what inspired you to start the business?
Hi! Factorial is an HR software start-up founded in 2016 in Barcelona. Factorial is based on the mission to enable companies to make better business decisions based on the people data we acquire. It is not just about solving HR administrative problems, but about freeing up the time of HR leaders and managers. Instead of wasting time on administrative and repetitive tasks, Factorial does that for them, enabling them to focus on what really matters: developing and growing their people.
I started being interested in software and programming from a young age. As a teenager, I was already selling computer programmes that I had made to earn a bit of extra pocket money. From this passion, I decided to study computer engineering at university. From this experience and from everything I had learnt previously I went on to become the founder of Redbooth, a company operating between both Barcelona and San Francisco, which was a workplace collaboration tool and communication platform.
Bernat and Pau and I all had previous experience working in executive positions for fast-growing companies and all became increasingly frustrated by the lack of technology available to help companies scale their organisation, develop talent and recruit the smartest people. There were tools that existed which worked to scale your sales organisation, your marketing strategies, even some tools that helped with finance, but there was nothing that would help your company develop its talent. We then did our research and discovered that there were some US start-ups in Silicon Valley providing this service, however, there were none available to help medium-sized companies globally. From this we saw a huge market opportunity, so decided to create Factorial.
Who is your target market?
Our company is aimed at small to medium sized companies. However, we realised that from the huge spectrum of companies that exist, the smallest ones i.e 1-50 employees would be able to figure out all their HR needs by sitting around a table and discussing practices that should be in place. But, when your company grows to 50, then 100, then 200, this becomes a challenge, as it becomes impossible to have good visibility on everything that is going on. Due to this we started mainly focusing on medium sized companies. Although originally in 2017 we began by aiming our services towards small companies mostly around Spain. However, in 2018 we grew to start targeting bigger companies with 100+ employees.
Additionally, from the beginning, we knew that we didn’t want to limit ourselves to one specific geography. We wanted to find a way to have a global impact through our product. So in 2019, we made the jump to start acquiring customers in over 40 countries from all over Europe and the Americas. Targetting companies with as little at 10 employees to as many as 1,200. Our goal is to continue with this expansion.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
Our business marketing strategy is to acquire customers through inbound marketing, which involves companies finding us rather than the other way around. We draw them in mainly through our content marketing, search engine optimisation, social media and branding strategies. Once they have expressed an interest in the services we provide, we show them how we can help them, by solving their people problems and generating a lot of useful people data for them.
We let companies sign up and try our product for free and later we present them with the possibility to upgrade. This is called a free-trial software-as-a-service model, in which we charge a fee per employee per month, which tends to be around 3-4 euros, with discounts for very large organisations.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
Factorial is a unique and individual product that helps companies make better business decisions based on people data. Meaning it does not just focus on solving HR administrative problems. Although this is a necessary step to free up HR managers’ time. However, it does more than just that. It enables administrators to focus on what really matters: the support and development of employees.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
Factorial is a young vibrant start-up with huge growth prospects. We work collaboratively with each other and although we are an incredibly fast growing team, the company is close knit and supportive of one another.
Our office is located in the district of Poblenou. This area is full of many start-ups and has a very lively entrepreneurial vibe to it. Our office space is modern and open plan, encouraging creativity and collaboration among all our employees. The office is fairly central and just a quick walk to the beach, making it your ideal working space.
We run many team-building exercises including weekly after work events that take place every Thursday, along with regular team events and parties. These contribute to the team spirit and morale.
To encourage collaboration and that all our employees are working collectively and to the same beat, we have an entire company meeting every Friday, in which we discuss changes that have occurred within the company, objectives and goals. We also take the opportunity to get to know each other better and welcome new members. This is important as we are such a fast-growing company with new members being added to the team most weeks.
Furthermore, we provide many benefits that come with working for Factorial. These include: flexible working hours, subsidised gym membership, granting our employees access to train in more than 2,000 gyms, yoga studios, climbing walls, among many other facilities. We also provide our employees with health insurance covered by AXA, We also provide discounted coffee and free breakfasts every Tuesday morning. Lastly, we provide employees with the opportunity to attend conferences, events, and onsite workshops to constantly learn and better themselves.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
The Factorial Sales and Marketing team utilise a range of software, including Hubspot for processes such as social media marketing, email marketing and content management. They also utilise applications such as Semrush and Ubersuggest for keyword research and for SEO optimisation. Dato CMS is incorporated to manage online content and translate between all the different languages Factorial operates in. Airtable is another application utilised for task management and project planning.
The Finance department employ tools such as Quipu, which provides up-to-date information on account statuses and facilitates communication with the bookkeeping company. They also use Spendesk, a tool for all-in-one spend management systems delivering more control, visibility and automation to finance teams.
Where do you see Factorial in 2 – 3 years time?
Our vision is to massively expand in the coming years. We strive so that everybody in organisations signed up to Factorial can make smart business decisions based on data, something which they were not able to do before they started using Factorial. For that to happen we need to have a huge increase in companies utilising our services. This involves being inside enough problems so that the amount and quality of data we are able to expose are really useful to make business decisions.
Our milestone goal for three years from now is to have at least one million users interacting with our software on a daily basis. We endeavour to have a vast global impact on global HR practices; this forms an integral part of our company mission in general.