Zeller raises $50m from US and Australian investors

Australian fintech news and articles

Zeller in white letters with black background

  • High-profile US investment firm Spark Capital, which has previously invested in Twitter, Slack, Oculus and Coinbase, is the newest VC to invest in Zeller.

  • The fundraising round was closed in the week prior to Zeller’s May 4 launch. Zeller has raised A$81M within 12 months, making it Australia’s most valuable pre-launch startup.

  • Zeller’s early growth has significantly exceeded expectations, with over 1,500 Australian businesses signing up in the first month and weekly payment volume growing 200% since launch.

  • Over 80 percent of businesses signing up for Zeller have switched from a big-4 bank, being dissatisfied with the incumbents’ high fees, lack of customer support, and outdated EFTPOS hardware.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Fast-growing Australian fintech Zeller continued to raise support from high-profile global VCs, securing an additional A$50M investment from US-based Spark Capital in the days leading up to Zeller’s launch on May 4. Zeller has raised A$81M in funds within 12 months, making it Australia’s most valuable pre-launch startup.

The demand for Zeller since launch has significantly exceeded expectations, with over 1,500 Australian businesses signing up for Zeller within the first month, and weekly payment volume growing 200%. Of those early adopters, over 80 percent are switching to Zeller from the incumbents — demonstrating the growing dissatisfaction amongst business owners with merchant services delivered by the big-4. Business owners are increasingly looking to innovative fintechs like Zeller for better service, innovative technology, lower pricing, and local support.

“Over 80 percent of merchants who have signed up for Zeller had an existing business banking relationship with an incumbent. Our team hears how frustrated these business owners are by the lack of service and support they receive, and that they’re paying incredibly high fees for outdated EFTPOS hardware and underdeveloped banking technology,” said Ben Pfisterer, Zeller CEO and co-founder. “The fact we’re seeing so many established businesses switching to Zeller from the banks motivates us to double-down on our efforts to build more business banking products that serve the needs of growing businesses.”

The funding will be used to rapidly accelerate the development of Zeller’s integrated business banking platform, and to expand their product and engineering footprint across Australia with 18 new positions opened within those respective teams.

Pfisterer commented, “We built Zeller to connect the disparate financial services, payments and banking tools that Australian businesses use every day. Our vision is to support the everyday business banking requirements of merchants, and our partnership with Spark Capital helps us accelerate development of these new products for a rapidly growing customer base who are switching to Zeller from the incumbents.”

The A$50M investment was led by Spark Capital, with additional funding secured from existing partners Square Peg, Apex Capital Partners and Addition. Spark Capital has invested in some of the world’s highest-profile technology companies, including Twitter, Slack, Oculus, and Coinbase.

“From our first meeting with Ben, we knew we wanted to be a part of Zeller. Australia’s business banking landscape is dominated by a small group of incumbents, and is ripe for disruption through simpler, more transparent pricing, best-in-class technology, and better customer service,” said James Kuklinski of Spark Capital. “The Zeller team brings decades of collective experience in payments, technology and finance, and we are excited to join them in levelling the playing field for business owners through access to smarter business banking solutions.”

Zeller’s new business banking alternative was launched on May 4, and helps businesses accelerate their cash flow by giving them a fully integrated business banking solution that includes a next-generation EFTPOS terminal, a fee-free business transaction account, and free business Mastercard, all in one box. Businesses can purchase Zeller Terminal exclusively from Officeworks stores, or online at myzeller.com with free shipping nationally.