Investment Memos

Investing in Zeni

Developing an AI-powered finance concierge for startups

5th August 2021

Reading Time:

5 mins

Managing startup finances has long been a complex, slow, frustrating process. Founders need quality financial reporting to enable rapid, quality decision-making and attract quality investors, but they are typically not accounting experts. This means they are forced to hire expensive outsourced CFO services or waste precious hours of their time bookkeeping, sometimes spending 3 weeks on each monthly close. This slow pace leaves founders making business-critical decisions blind, without real-time insights.

We have seen many entrepreneurs in our own portfolio struggle to manage finances, so we were immediately interested in Zeni’s AI-powered finance concierge for startups and small businesses. With over 43,000 active startup-stage companies in the US the opportunity is huge.

As artificial intelligence plays a growing role in automating manual processes, Zeni is well-positioned to transform the way startups manage their finances. Existing solutions are expensive, slow, and manual. Startups can’t succeed if they are weighed down by legacy software and error-prone data entry. Zeni’s mission is to relieve these burdens by providing startups with an artificially intelligent full-service finance team.

Zeni provides an AI-powered finance team to manage startup finances, bookkeeping, bill pay & invoicing, employee reimbursements, and yearly taxes. Zeni works as a layer connecting all sources of a business’s finances to give management live insights into the position of the company. The Zeni Dashboard shows real-time burn rate, operating expenses, cash/card balance, revenue by product, month-end reports, and more.

Zeni was founded in 2019 by Swapnil and Snehal Shinde. The twin founders have over 15 years of experience and two previous startup exits together. From starting the leading Indian music streaming service to creating an AI-powered travel concierge, these two know how to execute. While starting their previous ventures, they were frustrated by the amount of time finance and accounting took away from their core business focus. They decided their next company would solve this problem once and for all for other founders. Their ability to develop innovative products has attracted top talent to join them again for this latest venture.

Our decision to back Zeni was an obvious choice:

  • A clear and common pain point that even market-leading solutions failed to fully solve
  • A growing chorus of loyal customers who had consistently expanded their accounts with Zeni quarter after quarter, with literally no churn
  • Sophisticated founders with a track record of success and a sterling reputation

We are excited to see Zeni continue to deliver outsized value to start-up founders via improved, relevant insights into the financial standing of their businesses.

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