Irish fintech start-up awarded $10k COVID grant from US firm

  • Photo: Zazu Ents founder, Ivano Cafolla

    Irish fintech start-up Zazu Entertainment (Zazu Ents) has been awarded a $10,000 grant by KKR, a leading US global investment firm, through the KKR Small Business Builders (SBB) programme.

    Zazu Ents, which is focused on helping the hospitality sector, is the only European firm among the 52 global businesses selected to receive a grant in this round of the SBB programme.

    The programme is part of a $50m Relief Effort created last year by KKR and its employees to support global small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) impacted financially by the Covid-19 crisis.

    The grants aim to help small businesses maintain day-to-day operations and jobs, while also supporting their future growth as they respond to the ongoing pandemic.

    Zazu Ents has developed a booking solution for the hospitality sector in Ireland and abroad.

    The company offers an all-in-one package to restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs including bookings, payments, ticketing, collection and delivery.

    RELATED: Local couple start new hospitality sector incubator

    Founded in 2016 by Ivano Cafolla, the fintech is currently based at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin.

    Ivano Cafolla said: “To be the only European business to receive this grant from a company the size of KKR is a massive endorsement to Zazu and what we are doing.

    "I believe this will help us in our next round of funding which we plan to complete in the coming months. We already have some really exciting big brands, restaurants and nightclubs in Europe signing up with Zazu and I believe the year ahead is going to be a very exciting one for the company.”

    RELATED: NI tech firms team up to help hospitality industry with free services

    Joe Bae, Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, KKR added: “We created the KKR Relief Effort to help the people and businesses that make up our communities and are faced with significant challenges as a result of the pandemic.

    "Nearly a year later, the need for this support is at an all-time high and we continue to stay focused on caring for small businesses and working with nonprofits that are having an outsized impact.”

    To date, the KKR SBB programme has awarded grants to 107 small businesses around the world.

    In addition to KKR SBB, a second programme, KKR Grants, which is focused on identifying and supporting non-profits, forms part of the KKR Relief Effort initiative.

    Further information on the small businesses and nonprofits awarded COVID-19 KKR Relief Effort grants in the latest round of grants is available via:

    RELATED: Dublin travel tech start-up TripAdmit secures €500K seed funding

    Source: Written from press release

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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