Since April, the unemployment rate has remained at staggering rates. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the September unemployment rate remains at 7.9%, up almost 4% pre-pandemic. According to a survey conducted by Upwork, a company that connects freelancers to jobs, 24% more people entered the contract or freelance positions this summer. And increasingly, those doing freelancing are more likely to be people with higher levels of education and from cities.
Shift to Interim Economy
This new phenomenon coined the “Interim Economy” as a result of a mixture of large and small companies hesitant to bring back full-time salaried employees due to the economic blow caused by the pandemic as well as workers' survival strategy midst the lack of full-time employment positions. Unlike the gig economy (cue the likes of Uber, DoorDash) which attribute more to unskilled labor such as driving and delivery, workers in this new economy are highly-skilled.
Rise of Companies to Support Freelancers Clair, based out of New York, is a startup that helps hourly and gig workers get paid instantly. They do this by embedding their service within workforce management, payroll, and gig platforms. Started only last year, it just raised $4.5MM of seed funding in October.
Bonsai is a monthly subscription software service designed for freelancers to manage everything from day-to-day projects including time tracking, contracts, to invoicing. Launched in 2015 out of San Francisco, California, the company boasts that it is trusted by over 250,000 self-employed workers and small businesses. Its more well-known competitor Freshbooks, which was born out of Toronto, Canada, has been in the market since 2003 and focuses more on invoicing complications for self-employed professionals and small businesses.
Contently is the content marketers’ platform. Designed to connect writing professionals to businesses, the platform boasts many big-name users as well as over a global repository of 140,000 writers and content creators.
The Bottom Line
While freelancing and contract work had been a choice for past workers in order to rebalance their personal time without committing to one company or set business hours, the transition to a skilled worker interim economy could shift the needs and requirements for businesses supporting freelance
Zooming in on Events
Zoom announced at its virtual conference that it will launch events capabilities and allow third-party apps.
Bed Bath & Beyond's Stocks Rally
After selling off non-core assets for around $250MM in the latest spur of its turnaround mode, Bed Bath & Beyond's stocks jumped up 9%.
Since last week, PrivCo has added: 3738 Companies | 131 Funding Activities | 129 M&A Deals
Funding & Deal Highlights: Dataloop, an AI-based annotation, and data management platform has raised $16 MM in funding through an $11MM series A round and a previously undisclosed $5MM seed round
Getaround, a peer-to-peer car-sharing service that allows drivers to rent cars from car owners and owners to rent out their cars has raised $140MM led by People Fund.
Alfred, closed $42MM in a new series C funding with its initial investors Spark Capital as well as prior investors New Enterprise Associates and Greystar. They provide residents and building management technology for real estate. Founded in 2014 in New York, Alfred has now raised a total of $98.5MM in reported equity funding.
Matroid, a computer software company specialized in machine learning raised $20MM in its Series B funding led by Energize Ventures with participation from existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Intel Capital, and others. The company offers a studio solution to deploy detectors that help search visual media for people, behavior, objects, and events.
Mira Insurance, founded in New York in 2019 and specializes in alternative insurance solutions with a monthly membership raises $2.7MM seed funding led by Flybridge Capital. It is capitalizing on the solution for millions of uninsurance Americans.
Vineti, a private company from San Francisco, California, that offers a software solution to drive and scale personalized therapies such as cell and gene therapies or cancer vaccines extends its Series C funding to $68MM led by Cardinal Health, with participation from Mark Benioff and other existing Vineti investors.
Rockstar Games, the company under Take-Two Interactive Software, announced it has acquired Ruffian Games in Dundee Scotland for an undisclosed amount. Rockstar Games is famous for its series of Grand Theft Auto games and plans to use this acquisition to further explore game development talent in Scotland.
WellSky, a health care software services provider has acquired CarePort Health from Boston, MA for $1.3BN. CarePort is a care coordination software company that connects and maps a patient's journey through healthcare, including billing and provider communication. The company was originally under AllScripts.