Innovative employees and an international mindset help Penneo’s digital signature go beyond borders
A new office has been found and the lease has been agreed upon. The next step is to print, sign, and scan it, so it can be sent.
Penneo began in 2012 with a dream of eradicating the pesky manual signature process and create a digital solution. Based on the Danish “NemID” system (a common login system in Denmark based on personal ID numbers) and an easy-to-use workflow, Penneo has had impressive growth and attracted a number of prominent customers. Talented and dedicated employees have been a huge part of this success.
“The four core values in Penneo are people, product, performance, and possibilities – with the right people on board, creating the company. When it comes to hiring, we always ask ourselves whether they have the ‘Penneo factor’ or not. And so far, we have found amazing people,” says Ahmad Raja, backend developer at Penneo.
He helped bring some of the first employees on board at Penneo’s small office in 2014, which included the luxurious accommodations of only a single standing desk. Since then, the company has expanded rapidly, and the number of employees has increased to 20. What they have in common is that they are all eager to make their mark on Penneo’s dream of making digital life a little easier.
“What makes it really exciting for me is that we are a team where everyone takes responsibility – whether you’re a CEO or an intern. If you have a good point and can argue for it, you will be heard. So if you visit Penneo’s office, you will not be able to figure out who is who,” says Ahmad Raja.
In Penneo’s hip new office on the 13th floor of the old DR Byen in Søborg, right outside of Copenhagen, employees diligently discuss how new technologies for encryption and web design can push Penneo’s growth even further.
“For me, one of the main things is that I sit on one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of. Although we are relatively few, we complement each other well,” says Jesús Otero, frontend developer in Penneo.
About a year ago, he was living in Venezuela and running his own business. His motivation to move to Copenhagen and work in Penneo was not to have better job security. In fact, it was quite the contrary.
“I had my own business, so if I was going to work for a startup, I would need to be a key employee in the decisions. In my previous jobs, I have not had the responsibility, so I could not really make a difference. When I saw the announcement from Penneo, it seemed like the perfect match,” says Jesús Otero.
He has never regretted his decision to join the development department, where he has had great responsibility and become part of a likeminded team passionate about the project.
“Everyone has their own ideas, which we gather to make a good product. Because we work in a small, flexible startup without bureaucracy, we can quickly make decision that matter. In this way, we get things done quickly,” says Jesús Otero.
With a good foundation in Denmark, Penneo has begun to take over the Scandinavian market with its’ digital signature platform – a step towards becoming an international company, which has been a goal of the company since it’s inception.
“When I came to Penneo in 2014, the founders had decided that the business language would be English. At that time, I was the only one who spoke English, so I was a bit ashamed that the others would have to speak English because of me,” says Ahmad Raja, a native Pakistani, with a laugh.
Since then, the development department’s number of employees as well as nationalities has grown to include Venezuela, Poland, France, and the USA alongside Denmark and Pakistan. In retrospect, Ahmad understands that it was important from the start to create an international culture.
“We try to find people to join our department who are a good match and have experience – we don’t limit ourselves when we are searching. If you are only looking for employees locally, you get local people. But if you above all are good for the job, then you may very well be from abroad, and an English speaker,” says Ahmad Raja.
For him, Penneo’s ability to continue to find skilled employees is also crucial if they are to continue their momentum.
“In a small startup, everything is exciting in the beginning. It is not until you get bigger that things get complicated. We believe that with the right team of people, there is no limit to what you can achieve. The main factor is what type of people we hire – that is what will make or break us,” says Ahmad Raja.
“In a small startup, everything is exciting in the beginning. It is not until you get bigger, things get complicated. We believe that with the right team of people, then there is no limit to what you can achieve. The main factor is what type of people we hire, and it’s going to make or break us, “said Ahmad Raja.