January 4, 2022 – Contra, a professional network for freelancers founded by Ben Huffman and Gajust Kuizinas, has secured $ 30 million in Series B funding, led by NEA, with participation from Unusual Ventures and Cowboy Ventures, who both invested in Contra $ 14.5 million in Series A last year. The latest round of funding gives the company total funding of just under $ 45 million, Huffman told TechCrunch. Contra provides self-employed workers with tools to build a professional identity and manage their work, from investigating and discussing the scope of the project, signing a contract and paying – all without having to pay more than 20% of the fees that other freelance work websites may charge, Huffman said.
Obtaining the new funding gives Contra the opportunity not only to work with NEA partner Ann Bordetsky, but also to capitalize on “the insane amount of user growth after the pandemic” as more and more people are turning to self-employment, Huffman said. He cited figures that more than 50% of people started working independently at the start of the pandemic and more than a million people joined Contra to find work or hire talent.
“We’ve always wanted to deploy this, but we wanted to be able to ensure that the customer pays and that there is trust in the network,” he added. “We have users in 139 countries, and although many workers do successful projects, they don’t get inventory or other benefits, so we want to help them collect that stored value and make it easier to pay. “
“Unlike the existing professional networks designed for the old, normal, task-based markets that commoditize freelance talent, Ben and Gajus saw an opportunity to build a radically new professional network,” according to a NEA article, “a fundamentally designed one. for the unique needs of highly skilled, digital-native freelancers.
While many people opt for the flexibility of self-employment, Ms Bordetsky from NEA said she was intrigued by the trend and spoke to people who all had in common that they wanted to work this way, but who were not satisfied with the existing markets for quarry construction. She saw that Contra was becoming a resource “the Gen Z digital worker is excited to use” and how the company leveraged TikTok and other tools to build an audience.
“Ben knows these pain points,” Ms. Bordetsky said. “What was impressive was his creative vision of what the platform could do and also his practical understanding. Ben is the visionary for building this in space, and NEA maintains that Contra is following this trend.
Here is a look at other recent funding deals obtained by these companies from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Hirewell, a Chicago-based talent acquisition firm, secured a $ 21 million investment from Prytek, a global investment firm specializing in integrating global service companies with cutting-edge technologies. Prytek will provide capital to enable Hirewell to accelerate organic growth and integrate technology into its managed recruiting services. As part of this investment, Hirewell will acquire ICV, a Tel Aviv-based software company. “The talent acquisition space has evolved dramatically over the past decade, but technology has yet to truly disrupt the industry,” said Matt Massucci, Founder and CEO of Hirewell. “Recruiters increasingly rely on multiple platforms, most of which either do not integrate or have limited functionality, and some of which are in fact competing with the recruiters they claim to support. The ability to combine best-in-class recruiters with cutting-edge technology will allow us to be the ideal recruiting partner for companies that are serious about finding top talent. We are delighted to partner with Prytek to take this step forward and continue to deliver powerful results to our clients. “
Worksome recently closed a $ 13 million Series A funding round for its freelance talent platform – having increased revenue tenfold since January 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a labor boom in distance. Founded in 2017, Worksome is a business platform that connects companies with freelancers looking for professional positions. The company helps medium and large companies, working with many freelancers at a time, to fill vacancies within teams rather than helping companies with outsourcing projects. According to Worksome CEO and co-founder Morten Petersen, most companies use Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to manage and pay outside workers. He said they were using “outdated technology that is not designed to manage a fluid workforce to handle complex compliance processes around hiring and managing freelance workforce.”
SeekOut, the AI-powered 360 talent platform, received $ 65 million Series B funding led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from existing investors Madrona Venture Group and Mayfield. This capital increase brings SeekOut’s total funding to $ 73 million. This funding round values SeekOut at nearly half a billion dollars. SeekOut’s growth and expansion has been driven by the critical role it plays in empowering talent acquisition teams to recruit hard-to-find and diverse talent. SeekOut has consistently received high scores and solid reviews in analyst and client ratings.
GoodJob, a platform that aims to use psychology and data science to match workers with jobs, recently raised $ 3 million to increase marketing and sales efforts in key US markets.. “GoodJob’s solution is ideal for today’s market,” said Stephen D. Johnston, CEO of GoodJob. “Prior to an interview and without introducing bias, employers can quickly assess a candidate’s suitability early in the hiring process,” said Mr. Johnston. “This approach allows companies to devote time only to candidates who have a high probability of success, which has a significant impact on recruiting efficiency, especially as companies move to contactless recruiting practices.
Turing.com, which describes itself as an automated platform for businesses to use and manage software developers remotely, has raised $ 32 million in Series B funding. The funding round was led by the $ 3.3 billion WestBridge Capital fund. The round includes a number of leading investors, including Foundation Capital, which led Turing’s round. Altair Capital, Mindset Ventures, Frontier Ventures and Gaingels also participated in Series B. Driven by the massive global shift to remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turing is tapping into a global pool of developers to help businesses hire in markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, where it has been difficult and expensive to hire and retain software engineers.
The Mom Project, a talent marketplace, closed a $ 25 million Series B funding round, bringing the Chicago-based company’s total funding to $ 36 million. The Mom Project aims to connect women, including mothers, with employment opportunities. Its platform has gathered more than 275,000 users and more than 2,000 companies, including brands like Apple, Nike, Gap and BP. “Together, we’ve proven that hiring, retaining and supporting mothers and caregivers isn’t just a good thing to do, it’s great for business,” said Allison Robinson, Founder and CEO. “We are living in a unique time as companies embrace flexible working and prioritize inclusion, and we are excited to quickly accelerate our efforts to unlock the potential of moms in the workplace. Our latest round of funding will help expand our Enterprise product line, develop our community engagement strategy for moms, and engage with more small business clients. “
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor-in-chief; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor-in-Chief – Hunt Scanlon Media