ZenBusiness Raises $200M to Advance Its Entrepreneurship Platform

With a $1.7 billion valuation, ZenBusiness is officially the newest unicorn in Austin’s startup scene.

Written by Jeff Rumage
Published on Nov. 09, 2021
ZenBusiness Raises $200M to Advance Its Entrepreneurship Platform
A photo of the ZenBusiness team
photo: Zenbusiness

ZenBusiness announced Tuesday that it has raised $200 million at a $1.7 billion valuation, making it the newest unicorn in the Austin startup scene. 

The Series C round brings the company’s total fundraising to $275 million. The company raised a $55 million Series B round in November 2020 and a $15 million Series A round in September 2019.

The most recent round was led by Oak HC/FT, with backing from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and existing investors Cathay Innovation and Greycroft.

Founded in 2017, ZenBusiness is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, providing users with step-by-step directions on how to form a LLC, create a website, file required documents and stay legally compliant.

The platform also provides customized recommendations on how to take businesses to the next level.

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ZenBusiness has been particularly useful for people who decided to develop side hustles or start their own business during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company has grown 400 percent since March 2020, jumping from 30,000 users to 200,000 users. 

A ZenBusiness survey found that, among those who established a business since March 2020, 49 percent say the pandemic gave them the inspiration they needed to start their business.

“New business formations have surged during the pandemic and this next generation of entrepreneurs need the right technology tools and resources that help them grow their businesses from an idea to a successful reality,” Kristin Bannon, an investment director at SoftBank, said in a statement. “ZenBusiness is building the new ‘operating system’ for growing businesses with support from a team of trusted experts who are changing the face of entrepreneurism in the U.S.”

ZenBusiness has more than 250 employees, 160 of which are based in Austin. With the new infusion of capital, the company plans to hire companywide, including brand marketing, product marketing, engineering, product and designers.

With the new funding, ZenBusiness will continue to improve its platform and accelerate its embedded fintech capabilities through new product features that help customers manage their finances.

Among these planned improvements, users will be able to connect their bank account, categorize expenses with artificial intelligence and send invoices — all at no cost. Users will also be able to collect payments via invoices or through e-commerce sites and file taxes using either software or an accountant.

ZenBusiness founder and CEO Ross Buhrdorf said in a statement that his company has done for the service sector what Shopify has done for e-commerce, emerging as a category-defining business for entrepreneurs.

“We handle the ‘business stuff’ so our customers can focus on their passion and build the life they want, stress-free and without sacrificing their well-being,” he said.

In addition to the funding, ZenBusiness also announced that billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban will be joining the company as an advocate and spokesperson to accelerate the company’s transformation into a household name synonymous with entrepreneurial success.

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