Zeal, an API-based payroll infrastructure startup formerly known as Puzzl, has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Spark Capital.
The funding round counted with participation from commerce Ventures and prominent individual investors such as Jason Gardner, Omri Dahan, Vlad Tenev, Bob Manne, Mitch Dauerman, and Matt Straz. Natalie Sandman from Spark Capital will join Zeal’s Board of Directors as a result of the round. She referred to the firm’s participation in the round by stating:
“Zeal is poised to lead a new category of embedded fintech. Helping build the payroll product at Zenefits, I know first-hand the intricacies of constructing a custom platform. The one-size-fits-all payroll product is outdated and Zeal makes it simple for any business to create the payroll product that fits their unique needs.”
The startup will use the new funding to expand its production scale and infrastructure to better meet its customers’ needs while continuing to pioneer in embedded fintech and help businesses create their own payroll products.
Zeal, which was founded in 2019, has expanded its presence to all 50 U.S. states with the aim of supporting payroll processing platforms for W2 employees and payments to 1099 contractors, helping them overcome difficulties in the labor market. Zeal’s CEO and Co-Founder, Kirti Shenoy referred to this mission by saying:
“There are so many services that want to embark on their journey to becoming a fintech company. Payroll is a sticky product that provides platforms with a wedge to help them launch their next 5-10 financial offerings including business and health insurance, lending, cards, and wallets, etc. In the past, it was really difficult for platforms to build payroll, because of the risks and maintenance associated with taxes and payments, and that’s exactly where Zeal steps in.”
Zeal will play a major role in providing modern payroll solutions for companies that innovate new technologies to pay workers in this new digital age, while also being responsible for paying wages and hiding in the background while handling logistics with a team of tax attorneys, payroll, and payment specialists.