Group S accelerates its digital shift with the acquisition of Pootsy

Group S has just concluded two acquisitions and a partnership to strengthen its digital services offer. Belgian start-up Pootsy is the latest.

Digitization affects all sectors and is a permanent challenge for incumbents. The human resources sector took a little longer to get started, but is accelerating the pace, like Group S which has just carried out its third operation in this direction this year with the acquisition of the Belgian start-up Pootsy.

“We wanted to lean on an industrial player to be able to continue our growth”, explains Julien Renglet, who co-founded Pootsy six years ago. It is quite naturally that this partner became Group S, because the two companies were already working together. “We have integrated many social secretariats over time and Group S is one of our historical partners”, details Paul Renson, the other thinking head of Pootsy.

“We wanted to lean on an industrial player in order to be able to continue our growth.”

Julien Reglet

CEO of Pootsy

Pootsy allows its customers, service voucher companies, to have records of their workers with their contracts and to generate benefit statements at the end of each month that reflects the reality of what is happening on the ground. “This information is sent, for example, to Group S, which makes it possible to generate payslips.

Initially, however, the solution was oriented towards the end customer and allowed everyone to find a housekeeper and encode services. This is still the case, but the start-up quickly turned to service voucher companies by offering its platform for improve team management. Several thousand workers employed by service voucher companies are thus managed today via the Pootsy platform. They will always be in the future, because Pootsy retains its name and a certain form of independence, even if Group S already represented more than 70% of its customers. “The objective is to become the leader in our segment and to extend our activities to other sectors”, continues Julien Renglet. A prospect that greatly interests Group S, which is taking over 100% of the shares of the young company for an amount and a valuation that remain secret.

A sector in full revolution

“We, as an industry, need to reinvent ourselves.”

Marc Peters

CEO of GroupS

The profession has evolved and companies in the human resources sector are gradually transforming. Do not say moreover social secretariat, but social group or HR group, explains the boss of Group S, Marc Peeters. “The offer we want to put on the market is much broader than payroll, among other things with tools like Pootsy.” For Group S and its boss, it’s a logical development. “Our profession is not going to disappear, but it will be completely reviewed by the initiatives of the ONSS, by technology and customer expectations. We must, as a sector, reinvent ourselves.”

For this, the company relies on an acquisition and partnership strategy. “We are developing a new strategy to offer more service to our customers, services supported by technology.” For some services, the objective is to go directly into the customer’s operations and Pootsy is a good example of this. This is not the first acquisition of style for Group S, which recently took over a company active in the management of catering staff: AAPI.

Never two without three, Group S also announces, not an acquisition, but a partnership with Beeple, a workforce planning toolwhich focuses specifically on temporary and flexible workers.

The challenge is to keep these start-ups agile. “In our new offices, there will be two floors reserved for start-ups and innovation,” explains Mark Peters. His company should carry out several operations of the same type in the coming months.

The summary

  • Group S has just concluded two acquisitions and a partnership to strengthen its digital services offer. Belgian start-up Pootsy is the latest.
  • Pootsy has developed a platform that facilitates the management of personnel for service voucher companies.
  • Group S intends to carry out other operations of this type to develop its human resources services.

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