Mar 23, 2017

Lystable raises $10 million to help employers manage freelancers

Lystable, a three-year-old startup that provides companies with software to manage freelance workers, has raised an additional $10 million in Series A funding. Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures led the new funding, with Max Levchin's Scifi VC, Kindred Capital, Goldcrest Capital, Glynn Capital, and Wilmont Ventures also participating.

Origin story: Founder and CEO Peter Johnston got the idea after seeing first-hand the inefficiencies of managing freelancers while working in Google's London office. Things like getting them access to the tools they needed for work and payments were challenging, he told Axios. His startup's name, Lystable, is derived from the fact that Johnston would create lists and spreadsheets to manage his contractors.

Uber-ification: Taking a cue from on-demand companies like Uber and TaskRabbit, which manage their labor force via software tools at large scales, Johnston hopes that traditional employers can think of their own staffing in the same way. Summoning contractors for a design job, for example, should be just as easy, says Johnston.

And while Johston says his company isn't focused on helping freelancers find the next client or gig, Valar Ventures partner James Fitzgerald told Axios that he wouldn't be surprised if Lystable does eventually build a marketplace for freelance gig. After all, once a certain fraction of the freelancer market is using Lystable for one job, connecting them to new ones would be the natural next move.

Expansion plans: With its new funds, Lystable plans to continue building out payments features into its software, soon add four more executives, grow its team to 75 employees by the end of the year, and continue to expand beyond the U.S.

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