Irish Fintech Start-Up Zazu Entertainment Awarded $10k COVID-19 Grant from US Investment Firm

Ivano Cafolla, CEO and founder, Zazu Ents.

Irish Fintech Start-Up Zazu Entertainment Awarded $10k COVID-19 Grant from US Investment Firm

Zazu Entertainment (Zazu Ents), an Irish fintech start-up focused on the hospitality sector, today announced that it has been awarded a $10k grant by KKR, a leading US global investment firm, through the KKR Small Business Builders (SBB) programme.

This programme is part of the $50 million KKR Relief Effort created last year by KKR and its employees to support SMEs, in the US and around the world, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic dislocation.

In the latest round of grants, 52 small businesses, from the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, were selected to each receive a $10k grant through the KKR SBB programme, along with hands-on support from KKR, the firm’s employees, and its partner organisations.

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 COVID-19 pandemic.

Zazu Ents is the only European firm among the 52 businesses to receive a grant in this round of grants.

Zazu Ents, a fintech start-up, 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. The company founded in 2016 by Ivano Cafolla is currently based at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin.

Ivano Cafolla, CEO and founder, Zazu Ents 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.”

Joe Bae, Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, KKR, said, “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 nonprofits, 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:


5 February 2021

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, NovaUCD, e:, t: + 353 1 716 3712.

Editors Notes

For further information on Zazu Ents visit

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, credit and real assets, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), visit

KKR Small Business Builders (SBB) is a grants-based programme created to support small business owners who are struggling to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. KKR has joined forces with small business experts at Hello Alice and GEN Global to identify diverse and dynamic small business owners in need of assistance.  

KKR SBB grants are available to organisations around the world with recipients selected in rounds on an ongoing basis. The current round of applications is open until February 10, 2021.

For further information on NovaUCD visit