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Responding to the Pandemic: ZenBusiness Secures $55M in Series B Funding to Accelerate the Micro Business Renaissance

ZenBusiness, a Public Benefit Corporation, is a one-stop digital platform with the mission to make starting, running, and growing a new business simple and accessible. With its largest funding round to date, the company has just closed on a $55 million Series B funding round.

Earlier this month, ZenBusiness, an Austin-based public benefit corporation, announced the close of a $55 million Series B funding round. The organisation’s new round of funding gives it the crucial ammunition it needs to continue to execute its mission to enable micro-businesses to start from the ground up.

The round, led by global venture fund Cathay Innovation, will enable ZenBusiness to invest in its customers by offering an expanded suite of services which includes an all-inclusive digital platform designed to make creating, building, and running a business more simple than ever before.

“ZenBusiness is revolutionizing entrepreneurship, the lifeblood of the economy and job creation, as the new ‘operating system’ for micro-businesses that allows aspirers to become business owners,” says Alex Lazarow, Investment Director, Cathay Innovation. “As a worldwide investment firm, we pride ourselves in backing innovative and impactful companies in every corner of the globe. During this critical time of economic uncertainty, the ZenBusiness platform is uniting a fragmented market for SMB solutions and will be a core enabler of a global movement by making starting, running and growing a business more accessible for everyone.”

Other participants in the Series B round, which included $55 million in equity, were GreatPoint Ventures, Breyer Capital, and Omega Venture Partners. Existing investors who took part include Greycroft (led Series A), Lerer Hippeau Ventures (led Series Seed), Interlock Partners, mark vc, and ATX Venture Partners.

“What the ZenBusiness team is doing is a real game-changer not just for their customer base but also for our country. By creating a centralized place for micro-businesses to form, learn, connect, grow and thrive, ZenBusiness is playing a key role to help ensure that the future for aspiring entrepreneurs is bright,” says Jim Breyer, Founder of Breyer Capital and the first institutional investor in Facebook. “We are proud to support ZenBusiness as the company revolutionizes the future of small business, diversifies our economy, and creates a path for more people to turn their dreams into a reality.”

The funding will help fuel ZenBusiness’s transformation into a one-stop digital platform designed to enable business success. Following its acquisition of fintech platform Joust, it will also launch ZenBusiness Money later this year, making ZenBusiness one of the only all-inclusive business toolkits on the market featuring everything from the initial incorporation, web-development and domain registration to important solutions such as invoicing and payments solutions, and merchant services that businesses need as they grow.

Zenbusiness’s mission is to deliver the country’s tens of millions of micro business entrepreneurs with the simplest and most convenient way to start, run, and grow their businesses. Since launching in 2018, more than 80,000 micro businesses have used the Zenbusiness platform to form their companies. This comes at a time when tools like Zenbusiness are more important than ever before.

According to a September 2020 study from Upwork, “Two million Americans have started freelancing in the past 12 months due to the pandemic, with 60% reporting that there is no amount of money that would convince them to take a traditional job again.”

“Since the pandemic, we have experienced a 100% increase in growth and seen first-hand incredible resilience and grit among Americans seeking to make their mark as business owners,” says Ross Buhrdorf, CEO & Co-Founder of ZenBusiness. “We are proud to play a vital role to help micro-businesses, who make up a majority of U.S. businesses, on their path to financial success and economic mobility. We are all in to help our customers — 87% of whom are first-time business owners — make the transition from just a side hustle to full-time entrepreneurship and focus on turning their business dreams into a reality.”

The company is also announcing ZenBusinessU, which will roll out in 2021. This educational platform will provide micro-businesses access to a tailored curriculum, a community of experts and peers, and interactive seminars addressing specific business needs and key learnings to create a blueprint for growth, that will rival many other alternative MBA programs, allowing participants to learn on the job.

With all sectors of business being impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, starting a new company has never been more challenging. Organizations such as ZenBusiness offer a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs looking to turn their idea into a company and gives them the tools they need to navigate the early stages of operation.

Author

  • Managing Editor, North America at The Fintech Times

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