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Edward Norton’s new software company ‘Zeck’ aims to end Board Meetings that “make you want to punch yourself in the face” – Backed by Salesforce Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and Breyer Capital.

DETROIT, MI - April 29, 2024 – Zeck, a cloud-based software platform that is reimagining the board meeting, today announced it has closed a $7.5M investment led by Salesforce Ventures. Co-investing in the round are Khosla Ventures, Jim Breyer’s firm Breyer Capital and software investing legend, Brian Sheth, who co-founded Vista Equity and the new Haveli software private equity firm. The financing will help Zeck further scale up its rapidly growing customer base of companies and nonprofit organizations that use its innovative board meeting platform for both time efficiency and qualitative improvement of board dynamics.

The company is co-founded by Edward Norton, an award-winning actor who has also founded multiple successful software companies (CrowdRise, acquired by GoFundMe; EDO, a leading advertising data firm) and by Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, the co-founders of Moosejaw and CrowdRise. 

"We had such a great experience building CrowdRise together, we wanted to find a new challenge as a team,” says Norton. “And our own experiences both running companies with Boards and sitting on Boards ourselves fueled the frustration that became the impetus to create Zeck.”  

His partner Robert Wolfe recalls, “We were all sitting around together and I’d had to step away to join a board call on a Zoom. I came back to the group and said to Edward and Jeffrey, ‘The meeting I just sat through was like the scene in Fight Club where you punch yourself in the face over and over. That’s how bad it was for the Board and I think it’s quite possible the management hung up and actually did punch themselves in the face. We all laughed but then we started talking seriously about why nobody is addressing this pervasive problem... and then we started imagining what the Board process would look like if it was actually working well.”

Zeck offers a cloud-based ‘always live’, iterative platform for building and sharing materials for Boards in a mobile-friendly format more akin to reading a media site than a fixed PDF slide deck. With AI assistance and other integration tools, it radically reduces the preparation time for management and uses highly granular data analytics from Board interaction with the platform to guide management on how to allocate time and material composition. Tools like pre-voting functionality allow time-consuming governance items to take place before the meeting in fully secure and legally compliant ways. Interactive functionality both allows board members to query and comment privately or publicly during their read to reduce the quotient of time spent looking backward and increase the forward-looking strategic discussions. Data on user activity allows management to track board engagement and have a sense of what to focus on in the meeting while also increasing accountability and responsibility by board members.

Zeck's integration of AI technology further sets it apart from traditional governance platforms. Powered by GPT-4, Zeck AI acts as a virtual Chief of Staff, streamlining board material preparation and delivering actionable insights in real-time. This strategic incorporation of AI saves time and enhances the overall board meeting experience.

Zeck has already designed Zeck templates for additional use cases like financing pitch sites, data rooms and investor updates driven by large percentages of their customers using it organically for these needs. 

Additional commentary on the news: 

"Zeck is poised to disrupt the status quo and set a new standard for boardroom efficiency and effectiveness," said Robert Keith, Partner, Salesforce Ventures. "We've been doing board updates the same way for decades, even though we've seen massive innovation in cloud software and AI. By investing in Zeck, we're backing a company that's reshaping an essential aspect of corporate governance for the better, leveraging these technological advancements to bring board management into the modern era."

“Zeck is absolutely game-changing,” says Samir Kaul, managing director at Khosla Ventures. “I emailed Edward out of the blue when I saw what they had built. We like to bet on ideas early that have the potential to be bold and impactful to the world and Zeck does just that. What Carta did for cap table management and DocuSign did for legal, Zeck will do for Board meetings and governance. It’s brilliantly designed and will be a default tool for companies going forward.”

“Our company founders need this so badly,” echoed Jim Breyer, the legendary VC pioneer who was also the first investor in Norton’s company EDO. “But what thrills me equally is that every non-profit can benefit from it too…I’m equally frustrated by the antiquated tools used on all my not for profit org boards.”

Norton says “A lot of people have laughed and said to me ‘You have a really fun day job…why are you working on a corporate board platform?! But it’s been a pain point I’ve actually experienced for 20 years on everything from big corporate boards to my theater company board. And it’s fun to solve problems. Think about how absurd it is that in 2024 most companies and organizations still go practically pencils down on all their important tasks and work for weeks to build and send out a massive fixed pdf slide deck a day or two before a meeting. Then send revised updates after that. Hope that everyone reads that novel sized file but has no idea if anyone did or what they thought. Then they go into the meeting blind and read the deck verbatim to a room full of busy people wondering why they’re spending yet another hour voting to approve minutes of the last boring meeting and stock option agreements and other drudgery that they could have handled in the airport terminal along with other legal docs that they signed on modern cloud-based tools. It’s so old-fashioned and broken ….it would be laughable except it actually sucks for everyone involved.”

Mike Walker, the CEO of Stax Engineering was an early user of Zeck who quickly started deploying it beyond his board presentations. “I worked at Oracle in the early days and am pretty familiar with enterprise software and responsiveness to customer needs. The user interface in Zeck is so fantastic for both management and Boards that I started just using it to do investor updates. And people loved it. So I used Zeck to do a big financing pitch presentation and it was so incredible to be able to track the interactions of potential investors with the materials we sent them. Unprecedented level of intel for us. The speed with which Zeck responded to these uses and formalized them as functions in the platform was so impressive. I can’t even imagine going back to building slide decks.”

About Zeck
After living the misery and monotony of the board meeting both as operators and board members, Zeck decided to reimagine the board process entirely. Founded in 2022, Zeck is already transforming board dynamics for thousands of corporate and nonprofit leaders and board members.



Media inquires contact media@zeck.app