Case Study with Clint Reid, CEO and Founder of Zonos
What is Zonos?
Since 2009, the Zonos team has relentlessly pursued its mission to simplify international commerce by providing businesses with the tools and data they need to sell and scale globally. Their technology handles the sticky stuff like duties, taxes, and customs requirements that accompany every single cross-border transaction. It’s a complex world that Zonos navigates elegantly through a suite of APIs paired with long-term domain expertise to handle the complex financial logistics that come with selling products cross-border.
This domain expertise comes directly from CEO Clint Reid who, in classic solve-the-problems-you’ve-lived fashion, founded Zonos out of his unfinished basement after spending 5 years in sales positions at global logistics giants DHL and UPS. Only from this experience could Clint have known the massive problems and global opportunity impacting those conducting international commerce.
Partnership with Bigfoot
Clint was introduced to Bigfoot’s Founder & CEO Brian Parks in early 2018 through a mutual contact, a venture debt banker who could not fund Zonos because they were not venture-backed at the time. As a company that had grown to material revenue scale across hundreds of customers over 9 years on their own resources, Zonos was a great fit for Bigfoot.
Zonos and Bigfoot officially partnered up in late 2018. Over the next two years, Bigfoot continued providing capital and upsized its facility in 2020 as Zonos continued accelerating its growth in a highly efficient format. By the end of the partnership, Zonos had 3x’d while taking no dilution, putting them in a wonderful position to raise their recently announced first institutional equity round.
“Bigfoot was recommended to us, and I’m glad they were. They were a smaller firm at the time, much like us, so we immediately felt a connection. Brian took the time to understand our business, and even though we’re not a traditional SaaS business model like most of the companies Bigfoot works with, we quickly found alignment. I’m grateful I met Brian and for his help during a crucial part of Zonos’ growth..” -Clint Reid, CEO at Zonos.
Bigfoot partners with Founders who are aggressive in pursuing growth, believe in the value they’re working so hard to create and want to hold onto it. Their approach was to show Clint how to value his equity and sell it strategically rather than haphazardly – a critical concept of equity preservation without compromising on growth.
Bigfoot’s financing allowed Zonos to continue growing aggressively without having to put any focus on raising other external capital (even though they had ample inbound interest along the way). Through this funding model, Zonos continued to access growth capital from Bigfoot while maintaining operational control and optionality along its journey.
“Bigfoot helped me avoid the rat race of raising venture capital early while being able to seriously scale our company,” said Clint. “That’s been amazing. Beyond that, the Bigfoot team took the time to understand our business and I can confidently say we’ve built a really strong connection with them over the past few years.”
Zonos is closing the gap for consumers, merchants, and businesses in the cross-border industry. Much like Zonos’ mission of creating trust in global trade, they also wanted trust in a capital partner. As a business, they know the key to creating trust is transparency. That’s exactly what they got from Bigfoot. Our partnership was never about a transaction.
Bigfoot offered all the best parts of a VC partnership, but paired it with a different partnership that came without a board seat or dilution. By turning to Bigfoot, Zonos was able to access more capital than a traditional bank could provide and avoid the dilution that would be caused by raising additional equity.
Zonos has now doubled in size every year since its inception, to become the leader in cross-border technology, helping thousands of businesses better serve their global partners and customers.
“For us, it was about the relationship. It was great working with someone who’s experienced some of the same pain points from being a Founder himself. Bigfoot had the background, experience, and expertise to educate us with an approach that delivered ongoing attention and support akin to that of an equity investor.”
It’s exciting to see this partnership culminate in Zonos’ raising a $69M Series A on their terms with Silversmith Capital Partners (See Clint’s LinkedIn post for more info). No better way to get a sense for his long-term commitment to – and excitement for – this great company.
Here’s to Clint and all the Zonuts for all of their hard work and commitment to getting Zonos where it is today and where it’s poised to go from here. St. George, UT is firmly on the map!