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Founders Everywhere: Chris Priebe
Chris Priebe is the co-founder & CEO of Zelt, which provides companies with a single system from which they can manage HR, IT and financial operations for their workforce.
Welcome to Founders Everywhere, where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at Everywhere Ventures, a global pre-seed fund supported by a community of 500 founders and operators.
In recent years you might have noticed a shift in the corporate world, moving away from the conventional term “human resources,” to the more holistic perspective of “people operations.” Companies are embracing a more employee-centric approach that emphasizes employee engagement, development, and well-being. And just like with anything else, the technology used can make all the difference. Zelt provides companies with a single system from which they can manage HR, IT and financial operations across the employee lifecycle, enabling leadership teams to consolidate vendors and automate tasks where it concerns employees - including payroll, onboarding, equipment and more.
Zelt is a London-based company, led by founder and CEO Chris Priebe. While they started in the UK, they are expanding their reach to include clients across Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and Asia. They work primarily with startups and small to medium-sized businesses looking to simplify and improve their people operations and streamline HR, IT, and finance processes. Zelt translates to "tent" in German, a fitting choice that mirrors its versatility, protective attributes, and role as a place for people to come together.
Why did you create Zelt?
Previously, I was a private equity and VC investor and we did a lot of B2B deals. I noticed the growing need for one tool (not 15) to manage basic operations in companies. The market lacked integrated and automated solutions for HR and people operations. I created Zelt to simplify those processes and enhance automation.
What is Zelt's North Star?
Our North Star is to be a leader in the emerging category of People Operations. If you look at startups, no one is called HR anymore; it's all people and people operations. It’s one of the biggest software markets and we hope to be one of the best products in the space.
What sets Zelt apart from competitors?
What sets us apart is our comprehensive approach. Unlike many tools in the market that focus on specific verticals, Zelt is set up much broader and covers HR, finance and IT related employee processes in one integrated platform. As a result, Zelt can streamline employee onboarding and management while fostering engagement and better insights. We’re much cheaper as well.
Tell us about a recent milestone.
We just announced our $3.5M seed round. We’re excited to invest in more product development and execute our go-to-market strategy. We plan to enhance offerings in each vertical, particularly in HR, where we aim to provide additional features like reviews and surveys. On the finance side, we are looking to add global payment options and facilitate international payroll processes. Additionally, we plan to expand our hardware offering for an even more comprehensive user experience.
How does Zelt inspire “customer love”?
Our customers enjoy significant time savings on administrative tasks, especially for founders and CEOs who can now easily manage operations with just a click. On the employee side, our platform simplifies onboarding processes and reduces the number of systems they need to interact with, leading to greater satisfaction and ease of use.
Any favorite recommendations?
One thing that I've been recommending a lot recently is this lecture on communication. It’s for a course on writing, but it’s really about communication, which is a fundamental part of any work setting.
Fun Fact: People are usually surprised by my height when they see me in person; I’m about 6’7.”
Read about Zelt’s $3.5M raise.
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