Fallen Unicorn CEO is now a billionaire

Parker Conrad, ex-Zenefits, is now worth $2.2 billion thanks to the success of his HR software startup Rippling. The co-founder of it is also a billionaire.

yesix years after the breakout of his first HR startup, Zenefits, Parker Conrad’s redemption is complete. He is now a billionaire, with a net worth of $2.2 billion, per Forbes estimates, following the lofty valuation of his new human resources company Rippling of $11.25 billion.

In February 2016, Conrad resigned under pressure from Zenefits, while the former unicorn backed down and cut his valuation by more than half under new leadership. But in April of that year, after spending time at home, depressed and binge-watching Star Wars movies while the Securities and Exchange Commission and state insurance commissioners opened investigations into his former startup: He was back with a new human resources software startup, Rippling.

He was full of ideas on how to do things better this time, and there was no shortage of venture capitalists willing to back him. Today, tech stock valuations have plummeted and many venture capital-backed companies have dug in. But Conrad, 42, is prepared for the recession, having just raised $250 million for Rippling last month.

While Conrad declined to be interviewed for this story (and neither he nor Rippling commented on his wealth), in a May video interview from his home in San Francisco, he said that Rippling still had cash on hand from previous financings and had no It was necessary to raise new funds. “For me, the reason was to want to insulate the company from any possible future macroeconomic shock,” he said at the time. “I’m terrible at predicting these things.”

So now your second HR startup is poised to weather the storm with a massive amount of cash. In all, the company has now raised $700 million from top firms including Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia and Initialized Capital. And after being flagged by Zenefits, Conrad has made hires at Rippling designed to avoid past mistakes, including general counsel Vanessa Wu, who joined from publicly traded LiveRamp, and CFO Adil Syed, who previously worked at Snap.

With the recent tech downturn, Parker Conrad’s decision to load cash into Rippling with a $250 million fundraiser in May seems smart.

We first wrote about Rippling two years ago as part of the Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2020 list. Conrad was trying to redeem himself with Rippling, which aims to make HR easier with software, and he was outspoken about those efforts.

The current ripple is worth two and a half times the $4.5 billion that Zenefits was worth at its peak. Conrad, a stocky man with strawberry blonde hair who grew up in a wealthy family and attended Harvard, has crossed the billionaire mark for the first time. His co-founder, Prasanna Sankar, 34, a former chief engineering officer at Zenefits, is also now a billionaire, worth about $1 billion a year. Forbes Dear.

The advantage of Rippling is that it not only automates payroll, but also automatically manages the software tools, applications and workgroups that new employees need, and keeps them up to date as employees are promoted, change groups or they leave While this type of administrative work isn’t the most attractive business, it can save companies countless hours of their executives’ time and the headache and cost that comes with it.

The company has grown rapidly since its founding. Its annual recurring revenue today is over $100 million (although the company declined to be more specific) compared to $13 million when we profiled it in 2020. Revenue for accounting purposes is less than ARR, a metric of sales that subscription-based software companies like Rippling prefer to use.

“Early in Rippling, there were a lot of times when we were talking to customers and they were freaking out about the Zenefits,” Conrad told us this spring. “I always thought that we were going to have to create a product that was much more attractive to attract people… We are going to have to be twice as good to try to overcome that, and at a certain point those concerns will start to fade and It will be a great accelerator for the company.”

For more on Parker Conrad and Rippling, check out our article, “The Return of the CEO of a Fallen Tech Unicorn.”

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