A startup that gets freelancers paid faster has a 150,000-strong waiting list. Check out the pitch deck it used to raise $18 million from VCs.
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- Sweden and US-based fintech Willa has raised $18 million in Series A funding.
- Willa helps freelancers and creators get paid faster and it has 150,000 on its waiting list.
- Freelancers contributed nearly $1.3 trillion to the US economy in 2020.
A fintech startup that helps freelancers and creators get paid faster, has raised $18 million in fresh funding.
Willa, which was founded in 2019, is based in both Sweden — the home of its founders — and the US, its main market. As anyone who has done freelance work will attest, getting paid for completed work can often take weeks or even months after invoicing.
In short, Willa pays users immediately upon proof of work and then takes over the invoice to be repaid by whomever originally contracted the freelancer. The app pledges to do away with waiting to be paid and sending reminders while charging a one-time fee on each invoice of 2.9%. Willa says there are no other costs associated with the service and that the fee is tax deductible.
“We knew people are struggling a lot with cash flow and that the problem was massive,” Kristofer Sommestad, Willa cofounder and CEO told Insider.
“When we launched our app in September 2020 we knew we had something special, because people barely believe it’s true, they think it’s a magic product.”
Freelancers are a booming and increasingly prominent part of the US economy. Freelancers contributed nearly $1.3 trillion to the US economy in 2020 and it’s estimated that freelancers make up 36% of the US workforce.
Research suggests that by 2027 freelancers will become the majority in the overall US workforce, per Upwork. Willa has raised fresh funding to continue increasing its capacity with some 150,000 freelancers on the company’s waiting list, Sommestad added.
“It’s been a hectic and fun year,” he added. “We raised a $3 million seed round last year and global financial markets collapsed the day after we got funding.”
Travel restrictions mean that Willa’s team is split remotely between Sweden and Venice, California. The funding was led by New York-based FinTech Collective, alongside additional investments from Entrée Capital and EQT Ventures, which led Willa’s seed round.
“Market is a bit crazy but creator economy understanding from investors in the past year so this space is incredibly hot,” Sommestad added. “We had a lot of inbound coming in but now our focus is on onboarding as many customers as possible.”
Next steps include further hiring and the launch of a debit card to further speed up how quickly freelancers can get paid. “There’s a lot of opportunity to build out what Willa is offering,” Sommestad said. “I’m surprised no one has done this before and I believe that there will be a hundreds of Willa copycats.”