Fintech startup Zeller gears up for imminent launch with $25m Series A

Fintech startup Zeller gears up for imminent launch with $25m Series A

Zeller co-founders, chief operating officer Dominic Yap (L) and chief executive officer Ben Pfisterer (R).

Integrated payments and financial services solution startup Zeller quietly raised $25 million last year, with the funds to accelerate its product development and hiring ahead of an imminent launch.

Backed by US-based investor and venture capitalist Lee Fixel, the $25 million Series A funding round is a coup for the pre-revenue and pre-product company, building on its behind-the-scenes work.

The Melbourne-based startup was founded just last year by former Square executives Ben Pfisterer and Dominic Yap, who hope their smart payments solution will level the playing field for businesses, enabling them to send and receive money quickly.

Zeller intends to disrupt the traditional business banking sector with a suite of products allowing merchants to accept payments securely from any card, manage business finances on a single platform, and access payouts quickly.

Customers will get access to a simple Zeller Transaction Account allowing for the transfer of funds, the payment of receipts and the disbursement of salaries in one single hub.

Further, a customisable Zeller 'Dashboard' will give customers insights into sales, expenses, and account balances. From there, merchants can generate reports and categorise spending to better manage funds.

Since July last year, Zeller has rapidly scaled its team to 50 people, making 38 new hires in the past six months to boost its capabilities across product, engineering, strategy, risk and compliance.

The hiring push amounts to over 310 per cent growth in headcount and is expected to continue as the founders prepare to launch their "better alternative to business banking" in mid-2021. 

The Series A funding round was led by Lee Fixel's recently launched investment firm Addition, supported by Zeller's existing investment partners Square Peg and Apex Capital, and builds on $6.3 million raised in a seed funding round in June 2020.

"Our experience tells us that Australian merchants still hit roadblocks when it comes to things as simple as accepting card payments, managing cash flow, and accessing their hard-earned funds," Zeller CEO and co-founder Ben Pfisterer said.

"The steps taken to open a transaction account should be counted in minutes, not days. In a modern, digital-first economy, these things should be effortless.

"These are longstanding problems that Zeller will solve by bringing together the tools businesses need to accept payments, manage their finances, and pay recipients."

Lead investor Fixel, whose notable portfolio investments include Stripe, Peloton and Spotify, said Zeller is poised to disrupt traditional business banking.

"There is an immediate and significant opportunity to disrupt traditional business banking, and Zeller has the experience, integrated suite of products, and strategic vision to provide a viable alternative to the status quo," Fixel said.

"At a time when a surge of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit is fuelling new businesses everywhere, what Ben, Dom and the Zeller team are building promises to be a powerful driver of business growth in Australia."

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