Tech unicorn Workhuman pays out nearly $130m in dividends

Company saw revenues rise to nearly $700m last year as employers sought to reward staff

Irish software company Workhuman has paid out close to $130 million (€115m) in dividends since the end of last year, recently-filed accounts show.

The company, which achieved so-called “unicorn status” last year when it was valued at more than $1 billion, reported turnover of $681.9 million for 2020, up 11 per cent on the $616.6 million recorded in 2019.

At year-end Workhuman paid out a $75 million dividend on the back of the 2020 results. It followed this up with two further dividends worth $50 million and $2.3 million respectively in June, funded from surplus cash that had been generated.

Shareholders in the company include co-founder and chief executive Eric Mosley, chairman Barry Maloney, who was one of Workhuman's earliest backers through Balderton, Utmost and Iona co-founder Annrai O'Toole, and venture capitalist Lorrie Norrington.


Pretax profits fell by a quarter, however, to $58 million from $77.8 million a year earlier, with shareholders’ funds decreasing 18 per cent to $77.3 million. This was largely due to a revised estimate of revenues in 2019 that led to a $39.5 million increase in turnover which was not repeated the following year.

The number of employees Workhuman in Ireland jumped 25 per cent to 376. Overall, the company employs about 600 people, and earlier this year took additional space in a building adjacent to its existing headquarters in Park West as it looks to increase headcount further in Dublin.

Staff costs, which include wages and salaries, rose to $38.5 million from $29.8 million a year earlier.

Incentive schemes

Founded in 1999 and formerly known as Globoforce, the group operates employee reward and incentive schemes on behalf of some of the world's biggest companies, including Cisco, GE, LinkedIn, Procter & Gamble, Symantec and KPMG. More than six million employees are on the Workhuman platform across 170 countries.

Mr Mosley told The Irish Times earlier this year that the company had added more than 40 new customers to its platform since the coronavirus pandemic began as employers sought to reward staff for going the extra mile during the crisis

Workhuman recently announced plans to host its popular HR-focused annual conference in Dublin for the first time last year. The success of the event in the US, which was called Workhuman, is what led the company to rebrand from Globoforce.

Workhuman ended 2020 with $178 million in cash in hand as well as an accumulated shareholders’ surplus of $77.3 million.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist