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Gusto Goes Freemium

Online payroll and HR services provider Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll) launched a freemium model. New this week, HR Basics offers small businesses a set of basic human resource tools for free.

The free service allows small businesses to manage employee vacation time, archive a directory of employees, and decrease the time it takes to onboard new hires. Unlike most freemium models, Gusto does not require small businesses to provide credit card or bank account information to use the service.

Gusto helps businesses move all paperwork online to create a better employee experience and company culture. TechCrunch, which covered the announcement earlier today, spoke with Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves, who commented on the term human resources. Reeves said, “Even the terminology ‘human capital management’ — humans are not capital, humans are not resources, they are people, thank you very much.”

As with all freemium offerings, the goal of Gusto’s HR Basics is to hook small businesses while they’re still small, so that when they need a more robust product, they’ll become paying customers. The company’s flagship product offerings range from $39 per month plus $6 per month per person and $149 per month plus $12 per month per person.

This move will help Gusto differentiate itself from its closest competitor, Zenefits, which also offers online HR, payroll, and benefits management. While Zenefits does not offer a free option, it does have less expensive and more a la carte pricing options.

At FinovateSpring 2014, Reeves showcased the company’s payroll solution. The company rebranded as Gusto in 2015, simultaneously pulling in $50 million in funding. Last month, Gusto was highlighted in Forbes for its diversity efforts. Of the company’s 525 employees, 51% are women. Gusto was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in California.