Startup Interview with Kaspars Upmanis, Co-Founder of CakeHR



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 23, 2020

With the advent of HR software, organizations have been able to automate and digitize the tedious and time-consuming HR processes. Today, we see thousands of HR tools available on the market; each with its own USP – be it the features, user interface, scalability, accessibility, simplicity, and more. Thus, opting for one is the most daunting task!

Kaspars Upmanis, Co-Founder of CakeHR, used to run a digital agency when he felt the need to incorporate HR software. Even after traversing through several tools he couldn’t find something that would meet his needs. So, he developed HR software of his own – CakeHR.

Kaspars Upmanis revealed much more appealing things about his journey and how CakeHR is leading the path of success in an exclusive interview with SoftwareSuggest. Read on to know more!

In Conversation with Kaspars Upmanis, Co-founder of CakeHR

What led you to the inception of CakeHR?

I used to run a digital agency with two offices and some remote staff. Myself being away from the main office, we had a real challenge tracking vacation days as well as other leave types (e.g. “Working from home”). I wanted a simple time-off management system but couldn’t find anything in the market that I personally wanted to use so I decided to build our own, as a side project.

With hundreds of HR software solutions available today, what is it that differentiates CakeHR?

Simplicity. Even these days when our feature set has grown, we’re sticking to our core principle of being simple to use for the end-user – employees.

Tell us about the challenges you faced while building CakeHR.

Initially, we launched CakeHR as a side project to a digital agency I used to own. As a side-project, it was hard to put enough focus on it in the early days.

Also, as we made a conscious decision not to raise outside funding and grow as a bootstrapped company, we had to be very frugal and pragmatic with the decisions we made.

How will you define the culture at CakeHR?

We’ve practiced a lot of remote working since the early days and a lot of this is because one of our key principles is trust – we trust our employees to do the right thing for our customers and to make the best decisions they can.

What principles your company follows to maintain its brand image?

Our core principle is “ease of use” – this is at the center of every decision we make and also how we position our brand. After all, even the product was named after the saying “as easy as a piece of cake.”

Can you name some of the industry leaders that you’ve served in this long course?

We have a wide range of customers from different industries, from fintech to airlines. For example, Twino, Entercom, Sensefly, Roche, DNB, Miele, airBaltic.

CakeHR recently got acquired by SAGE. What are your thoughts on it?

We are very excited about it and see this as a natural evolution to the next stage – building CakeHR into a global market leader in small business HR platform.

How do you keep yourself updated with the changing industry trends?

I read – a lot! Anything from short posts on Twitter, longer articles on Medium, and ending with books.

If you weren’t creating CakeHR, what would you be doing differently?

I would be building a company that is global, scalable, and creates lasting value for people.

What piece of advice would you give to emerging entrepreneurs?

As a founder who’s been through multiple startups, I’ve realized one important thing – focus on one single idea and double-down. You can’t build two companies at the same time.

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