Unshackling a promising Japanese HR software business held back by its corporate parent
Integrated technology to streamline every payment and improve provider relationships
THE BAIN CAPITAL ADVANTAGE AT WORK
Bain Capital Private Equity’s carve-out of Japan’s Works Human Intelligence demonstrates our consistent ability to help build successful companies anywhere in the world, especially in highly complex business situations.
In 2019, Bain Capital signed an agreement with Works Applications, Japan’s top provider of personnel and payroll software, to acquire its HR-related business. At the time, Works Applications was losing money. Our idea was to separate the HR assets from the core business and build them into a standalone success as Works Human Intelligence.
Standing up an independent new business out of a corporate division had to be done quickly and smoothly, with utmost care for our customer base. Thanks to our boots-on-the-ground presence in Japan and our global specialized resources, we were able to execute the separation successfully.
The investment also shows what can happen when we help our companies rally around customer success. Prior to our investment, Works Human Intelligence had more than 1,000 major corporate customers that were not receiving full value from the HR solutions they were buying from the company.
With our extensive experience in the enterprise software space, Bain Capital sent a team of US-based software experts to assess the technology that would form the Works Human Intelligence business. From there, the team game-planned a move to the cloud, a SaaS transition that was central to the roadmap for Works Human Intelligence. In parallel, Bain Capital has helped the company create and invest behind a best-in-class customer success organization, laser-focused on understanding and addressing customer needs to drive retention and lifetime value.
The investment demonstrates the strength of Bain Capital Private Equity’s global industry perspective and the value of its broad and deep tech knowledge in identifying, acquiring and building successful businesses in geographies that many other investors have avoided in view of the perceived complexity.
We quickly needed to separate the HR business from the core, which we were able to do because we had a great relationship with the Japanese management team and with the U.S. ownership base. It’s another example of using our global footprint to deliver certainty and value to stakeholders anywhere in the world, with a clear path to creating an enduring and expanding value proposition for customers.