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Austin-based Joust, founded in 2017, marks ZenBusiness’ first acquisition, and being introduced to them turned out to be a good meet, Ross Buhrdorf, ZenBusiness co-founder and CEO, said in an interview with Crunchbase News.
“We were looking for business deals, found them and wanted to put a deal together, but the timing wasn’t right then,” Buhrdorf added. “A conversation came up again later, and they asked if we would consider purchasing them. It was just a perfect fit for our section.”
Also based in Austin, ZenBusiness was founded in 2015 and has raised $19.5 million in total funding from backers including Greycroft and Lerer Hippeau, according to Crunchbase data. The company declined to disclose Joust’s acquisition price.
ZenBusiness offers an online platform for entrepreneurs to create, manage and grow a small business, while Joust’s banking platform helps independent professionals set up a payment process, Lamine Zarrad, co-founder and former CEO of Joust, said.
Zarrad is leading the financial tech efforts in the new partnership, relaunching Joust as ZenBusiness Money and developing a suite of business banking tools that include invoicing, payments and merchant services, he said.
“We were both holistic solutions, but starting at different ends of the spectrum,” Zarrad added. “As they figured out customer acquisition, we thought, let’s not compete, but build our forces together to bring more value and exponentially grow.”
Next up, the companies are working on integrating themselves and releasing new products under the ZenBusiness Money brand.
Micro business is a huge segment, and the global pandemic has accelerated and exploded growth, Buhrdorf said.
“Many people were forced into making a decision to start a business because they needed the income or stability,” he said. “We were in the perfect spot in front of this growing trend. Now, with Joust on board becoming ZenBusiness Money, it plays a key piece.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman