Gusto, A Classic Example of Industry Disruptor

The payroll industry has many software and service providers. It’s the classic business to business solution since all businesses need some type of tool to make the recurring process more efficient and as painless as possible. For years, businesses have been using solutions such as ADP, Paychex, and PeopleSoft. But yet, three individuals came together to figure out a way to make the payroll process even easier, and today those three are disrupting the space making the large incumbents nervous about losing market share.

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Edward Kim, Joshua Reeves, and Tomer London founded ZenPayRoll in 2011 that eventually became Gusto. Overtime as the company began to scale its client categories spanned startups, coffee shops, doctors, creative agencies, lawyers, and boutiques. And today, Gusto is operated out of offices in Denver, San Francisco, and New York and serves more than 100,000 businesses.

Since its founding, Gusto has raised over $500 million. Its latest round occurred in July of 2019, when the company took in $200 million from large scale asset managers including Fidelity Management and Generation Investment Management. Its earlier investors included General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins, and CapitalG.

The audacity to take on an entrenched industry such as payroll and be able to succeed could only come from someone with a unique mindset. In an interview a few years back, co-founder Joshua Reeves stated, “Look, starting a company is about being so obsessed with a problem that you can’t imagine not working on it. It’s not a ‘thing to do.’”

Joshua graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering. His first job was as a product manager at Zazzle and from there he started his first company Unwrap, which was sold to Context Optional. When founding Gusto, he embarked on a bold mission, which today has been memorialized as “to create a world where work empowers a better life.”

Gusto develops web-based payroll solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses. It operates an online platform that provides payroll, benefits, human resources functions, and integration services for employers and employees in the United States.

Diving deeper into its array of tools, Gusto offers health benefits and workers’ compensation benefits that include medical insurance, commuter benefits, and 401(k) contributions as well as workers’ compensation insurance plans, time tracking and integration services, and access to employees for processing payroll from web-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets.

With Joshua’s deep technical and product background and the rapid customer adoption of Gusto’s comprehensive suite of intuitive solutions, there’s no doubt he’s found a way to become one of the next great disruptors.