If you love a great comeback story, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one more dramatic than Parker Conrad, the former CEO of Zenefits. A legendary Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, Conrad propelled Zenefits on a meteoric rise to a $4.5 billion valuation just three years after the company launched in 2013.
But there is rarely gain without pain. After the company ran into compliance issues, Conrad stepped down as CEO in 2016. Undeterred, Conrad founded a new startup within months of leaving Zenefits.
Rippling, an up-and-coming, high-flying HR and IT software company, hit a valuation slightly north of $11 billion last May after raising $250 million in Series D funding. The round, co-led by Bedrock and Kleiner Perkins, included participation from existing investors Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital and others.
We also love a throwback story, which is why we’re thrilled to have Parker Conrad join us on stage for a fireside chat at TechCrunch Disrupt from October 18-10 in San Francisco.
Rippling accumulates employee data and uses what Conrad calls a “compound” model to create multiple products that share components for easy integration. Its newest offering, Finance Cloud, adds expense management — including bill payment, corporate cards, and expenses — to the HR and IT mix.
Conrad compares Rippling to Salesforce in that his business is an internal system for running your business, while Salesforce is an external system for managing business processes related to customers, sales, and marketing.
We can’t wait to sit down with Conrad to hear what it’s like to make such a resounding return. We’ll ask him about the key lessons he learned from his Zenefits experience and how he applied them to building Rippling.
We’re also curious what other products might be coming into the pipeline and what tech unicorns might be in Rippling’s sights. If anyone knows the ups and downs of startup life, it’s Parker Conrad. It should be a fascinating and valuable conversation.
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