Friends With Zenefits? Massive Campaign Wields $4.5 Billion For Software Startup

Dana Shemesh

Ashton Kutcher is a friend, and so is Jared Leto. If you're not friends with Zenefits, it may be worth your while to get acquainted with the up-and-coming software startup that may be the fastest-growing company in recent history.

The San Francisco-based Zenefits is even hiring wide swaths of candidates -- some 150 at a time each month -- according to a report in Fortune. Zenefits has reportedly grown nine times its value in less than one year.

Zenefits offers free HR management software for small-to-medium sized businesses. The company's software automates everything a basic company would need, from compliance to health insurance and payroll updates.

Remarkably, Zenefits offers human resources software for free to its growing client base – already some 10,000 customers. The company gets a commission when it makes a connection with a company to third party vendors, like payroll service companies.

Zenefits projects an annual recurring revenue of $100 million this year, an increase of $80 million from last year.

But with all the growth, Zenefits may have their share of growing pains – not being able to keep up with their own software, which was originally designed for companies with less than 1,000 employees.

Zenefits has raised some $500 million in funding, valuing the young company at a whopping $4.5 billion.

High-roller Zenefits investors include Khosla Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, and Sound Ventures – the investment firm of celebrity Ashton Kutcher. Other "Friends with Zenefits" investors include Andreesen Horowitz, Institutional Venture Partners, and actor Jared Leto.

Zenefits plans to hire more employees to provide support to existing and new customers. For Zenefits developers, the sky's the limit. They believe they can grow to a level where they can provide service to many of the five million American businesses that have less than 1,000 employees.

The Zenefits website encourages potential applicants to "join the (literally) fastest growing Saas company ever," touting a casual work atmosphere reminiscent of a Google campus – replete with complimentary "epic snacks," casual culture, stock options, customized benefits, flexible hours, an on-site gym, and whether you prefer working on a Mac or PC – your wish is Zenefits' command.

[Zenefits Logo]

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