(Bloomberg) — Zenefits, a provider of human-resource tools and services, raised $500 million in funds at a valuation of $4.5 billion as more companies seek ways to streamline their employee benefit programs.
The round, led by Fidelity Management & Research Company and TPG, is the largest financing for a software-as-a-service business since 2012, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement Wednesday.
Zenefits provides free online software that companies use to manage benefits for their staff, including payroll, retirement accounts and health insurance. Insurers pay Zenefits to offer their services, and the startup has signed up more than 10,000 small-and medium-sized customers in the U.S. The startup needs new financing to hire more staff and speed up the pace of growth, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Parker Conrad said.
“We’re driving this car; we’re driving it pedal-to-the- metal the entire way,” Conrad said in an interview. “If you want to grow really fast, you burn a lot of gas.”