Vancouver-based Zenhub announces $10 million funding round, expansion of product line

The project management platform has come a long way in nine years.


The project management platform has come a long way in nine years 

In spinoff terms, Zenhub is a lot more Frasier than Joey.  

The Vancouver-based company was spun out of local innovation studio Axiom Zen in 2014 to help developers with collaboration and project management in the internet hosting service GitHub.  

At first, the application was created in-house to help the company’s developers, but it started working well enough that the founders decided to see if there was a commercial opportunity behind the product. The first five years of Zenhub were bootstrapped.  

“Growth wasn’t slow, it was responsible and deliberate,” explains Zenhub co-founder Aaron Upright. After the pandemic, when remote work took hold and the opportunity for a collaboration tool like Zenhub was too big to ignore, the company raised its first round of funding—$4.7 million in early 2021.  

These days, the company counts local tech startups like Klue as well as corporate giants Comcast, Adobe and IBM among its clients. Even with today’s announcement that Zenhub has raised a second round of funding—$10 million in Series A funding led by Yaletown Partners—Upright thinks the mantra of slow and steady still applies.  

“We’re going to be responsible and pragmatic about deploying this money,” he says about Zenhub, which currently has 47 employees. “We’re not overhiring or getting into a position so many companies are in where they’re overspending on certain areas. A lot of where this capital is going to be deployed is in accelerating toward this platform vision we have.” 


That vision has been centred on allowing staff that aren’t developers to have a better idea of what’s going on inside the platform without causing any issues or problems for those that are actually using it. To that end, the funding round coincides with the company’s launch of Zenhub Issues, which allows people to create tasks and work inside Zenhub and GitHub. “It exists on the same workspace and same board, but it’s only visible to people that don’t have access,” says Upright.  

The fact that another Vancouver-based company led what Upright calls a “competitive” fundraising round wasn’t by design, but it was a happy outcome. “We tried not to spend too much time fundraising—we wanted to get back to building and creating value for customers,” he says.

“When we met [Yaletown Partners], we found that there was a real strong alignment between how they saw the space, their thesis around developer tools and the productivity space. The fact that they were based in Canada was the cherry on top of this. We didn’t specifically look for a Canadian investor, but we really liked how our conversations went with them. We got the sense from them that it’s a long-term investment, not just temporary capital they wanted to throw at a business to generate a return.”