Zenefits CEO David Sacks has finally got something to crow about.
The company on Tuesday has officially released a new version of its product, dubbed Z2.
“Z2 is really the culmination of what the company’s been working on for the last three years,” Sacks told us.
“That original vision of all-in-one HR is correct. In fact the proof of that is that every other HR company in the market has been copying that position. Not just startups like Gusto and Namely, but even huge incumbents like ADP, now try to sell themselves as all-in-one HR,” he adds.
Z2 is the pinnacle achievement so far of Sacks’ turnaround for the startup, which admitted it was selling insurance with improper licensing and may have broken the law when training employees. Sacks replaced founder and original CEO Parker Conrad in Feburary.
The new product is also happening at the company’s first ever customer conference, too, taking place on Tuesday in San Francisco.
Zenefits offers HR and insurance software, and, to a limited extent, payroll software, too. The company is now opening its new payroll software to its California customers, with other states coming at some future time.
There are few other things that stand out about Z2
Z2 has got a new “app store” concept. Part of that allows admins to easily set up a new employee with all the apps the employee needs as part of the onboarding process.
Z2 is launching with 17 partners including Google’s email/apps, Office 365, Salesforce, Abacus and Expensify. Plus it’s integrated with other popular HR apps like Intuit Quickbooks, Xero and other apps.
Interestingly, this idea that you can set up an employee with all the apps they need sounds very similar to what Zenefit’s ousted CEO, Parker Conrad, is said to be working on with his new startup.
In July, news leaked that at his new startup, he’s working on a way to do onboarding so that an employee starts work with all the HR stuff like insurance enrollment, including their apps, set up on ther PC and phone on Day 1.
- Flickr/JD Lasica
It looks like like his old company could have beaten him to the punch.
The other part of the “app store” concept is that it will allow small businesses to more easily shop and compare insurance plans from 250 carriers online through the app.
This includes a map that allows employers to see the actual in-network providers near where the company’s employees work and live.
Zenefits was one of the highest flying startups of 2015, raising $500 million and valuing it at $4.5 billion around its two-year birthday.
That rapid growth contributed to out-of-control hiring and lax management, and the company later admitted the company had been selling insurance without proper licensing. The company asked Conrad to resign, Sacks, an investor and the COO, took over as CEO.
Since then Sacks has been righting the ship, fixing the licensing issues, reducing headcount – including an unusual offer to let employees leave voluntarily, with severance – and renegotiating terms with investors that gave them a bigger chunk of the company and halved the valuation to $2 billion.
Most importantly, he’s been going state-by-state paying fines to settle the company’s compliance problems. The big investigation by the state California, where Zenefits admitted that some of its licensing practices under Conrad may have skirted the law, has not concluded yet.