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The ZayZoon Bright Idea

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Darcy Tuer, co-founder and CEO, and (right) Tate Hackert, co-founder and president of ZayZoon.

An innovative Calgary idea recently raised $15 million in a funding round with institutional and private capital investors. Calgary’s ZayZoon is ingenious technology; so simple yet so complex, so vital and efficient, and a potent game-changer.

Just five years ago, Darcy Tuer and Tate Hackert developed ZayZoon to improve the financial and emotional health of workers by providing socially-responsible financial products.

Their flagship offering – Wages On-Demand – is available to over two million people in North America. It allows employees to better manage their cash flow by tracking and having access to earned wages – helping to avoid predatory loans, overdraft fees and late bill payments.

“Before ZayZoon actually happened,” Tate Hackert recalls, “it didn’t take much research for us to realize that there wasn’t a sound solution to a short-term cash crunch for people to access their wages on-demand. And there was a ton of gut-feel involved in making ZayZoon happen.”

He explains that there was a glaring need. “Each year, banks in North America take in more than $30 billion in overdraft fees and payday loans, charging upwards of 600 per cent interest, and gets utilized by more than 10 per cent of the working population.”

ZayZoon’s platform gives employees the ability to view the hours they have worked before their next paycheque. The company partners with payroll providers and helps employees get cash before their next paycheque is issued.

The company’s recent $15-million funding by institutional and private capital investors is a perfect testimonial for the value of perseverance and determination when it comes to the challenging space of startups and technology bright ideas. “There’s always funding for a great idea coupled with a strong team,” raves Darcy Tuer, co-founder and CEO of ZayZoon. “We have assembled an amazing bunch of people who are passionately engaged in fulfilling ZayZoon’s purpose.

“Our stakeholders see an exciting commercial opportunity that has significant social impact. We have a double bottom line that is important to our investors, partners, employees and, of course, our customers.”

Hackert underscores the vital importance of the team’s passionate engagement. “The entire ZayZoon team is committed and focused on improving the emotional health of our customers through socially-responsible financial products,” he says. “It’s what drives ZayZoon to expand on the concept of providing employees access to their earned wages.”

The exciting success story is an example of “the new” and diversifying business of Calgary. While the energy sector remains Calgary’s business linchpin, IT is definitely gaining momentum and adding to the city’s dynamic business profile.

“Calgary has come a long way as a technology hub thanks to efforts from groups such as Rainforest Alberta, Creative Destruction Lab and the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, just to name a few,” Tuer says with enthusiasm and pride.

“Recruiting talented technical people and raising capital are two of the biggest challenges Calgary-based tech companies are currently facing. There’s still much work to be done but we have some incredible horsepower in Calgary that’s dedicating significant time and resources into bolstering our ecosystem.”

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