Here Are Parker Conrad’s New Startup Plans

Zenefits Chief Executive Officer Parker Conrad Interview
Parker Conrad, chief executive officer of Zenefits, speaks during a Bloomberg West Television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S. on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Zenefits, a year-old startup that makes human resources software, is valued at $500 million after its latest found of fundraising, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg—Getty Images

It’s a problem faced by new employees at almost any company: Hours, if not days, wasted while waiting for IT and HR to set up your computer and smartphone with all the software needed to do your job.

But a new company is being formed to alleviate those ubiquitous pain points.

The startup is the brainchild of Parker Conrad, the controversial co-founder and former CEO of Zenefits, who has been accused by his former company of creating a stealthy piece of software to sidestep state regulations in California.

Conrad isn’t commenting, but multiple sources have said his company’s mission is to allow new employees to sit down on day one with devices that are pre-loaded with all the necessary technology (Box, Slack, Concur, health insurance portals, etc.). Moreover, the devices would be configured and permissioned for the particular employee. Kind of a mix between Zenefits and Okta—and possibly competitive with both of them.

As has been previously reported, Conrad is working on the stealth startup with Prasanna Sankar, former director of engineering at Zenefits. The business model is expected to continue evolving, as one source referred to the startup’s current status as “embryonic.”

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One big question is if Conrad, who has effectively been accused of fraud by Zenefits investors, would be able to raise venture capital funding for his new effort.

“I think he’ll be able to find money if he wants it,” says one source familiar with Parker’s plans. “He built something really impressive with Zenefits, and then made a terrible error in judgment. He should be able to convince VCs that he’s learned from that mistake and that he can build another company without the problems.”

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