Fintech Startup Zeal Secures $13 Million to Help Companies Build Custom Payroll Products

Keywords: Startup, Finance, Tech

Fintech startup company Zeal announced today it raised $13 million in a Series A business funding round led by Spark Capital, while Commerce Ventures also participated.

Empowering Businesses to Design Their Own Payroll Solutions

Individual business investors like Jason Gardner (Marqeta CEO and founder), Vlad Tenev (Robinhood founder), and Matt Straz (Namely founder) backed the API-first payroll infrastructure startup company as well.

The Series A business funding round follows a $1.6 million seed investment led by Long Journey Ventures, Box Group, and Scott & Cyan Banister. Spark Capital’s partner Natalie Sandman will be joining its board of directors.

Founded in 2019, the fintech startup company’s mission is to provide HR, staffing, vertical SaaS, point of sale, gig staffing, and back office platforms with tools to build customized payroll products for their clients. The fintech startup company plans to use the raised funding to attract more talent and scale its flagship product.

Zeal, formerly known as Puzzl, enables platforms to produce highly individualized payroll products. In contrast to conventional payroll companies such as ADP or Paycor that offer payroll processing to an individual employer, the fintech startup company empowers both small and large business organizations to design their own payroll solutions.

“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.,” said Kirti Shenoy, co-founder and chief executive officer of Zeal. 

Business-to-business (B2B) service companies utilize Zeal’s solution to launch their own payroll products, which can then be sold to their business customers. Large enterprises use Zeal to design a customized solution that automates high volumes of payment processing and keeps payment data on their own native system. 

The fintech startup, which is available in all US states and American territories, wants to help companies develop their own payroll platforms, given the risks and maintenance associated with taxes and payments. 

Raised funding will help Zeal achieve its mission to cover every American paycheck with its tax and payment solution to ensure all employees are paid properly and efficiently. 

According to the fintech startup company, more than $8.8 trillion worth of payroll is handled each year in America. Furthermore, about 11,000 of the country’s tax jurisdictions produce more than 25,000 income tax code changes on an annual basis. Hence, the basic idea behind Zeal is to serve as an intermediary between government agencies and businesses that serve as direct payroll providers.

“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,” commented Spark Capital partner Natalie Sandman

According to the IRS, more than 40% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are charged at least one payroll penalty each year. Two years ago, the IRS charged nearly 5 million payroll penalties, amounting to a total of $13.7 billion.


Fintech startup company Zeal announced it secured $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Spark Capital to continue helping companies build their own payroll solutions. Raised funding will be used to increase staff and the company’s investment in product development.

Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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