SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Collective, the first online back office platform designed for businesses-of-one, launched today and announced $8.65 million in funding to empower, support and connect the self-employed community that comprises 36% of the American workforce. Collective’s technology and team of trusted advisors give members the freedom to focus on what matters by taking care of everything from business incorporation to accounting, bookkeeping and tax services in one platform.
General Catalyst and QED Investors led the funding round with additional investment from Google’s Gradient Ventures and Expa. Individual investors include entrepreneurs and executives behind some of the most transformational technology companies like Garrett Camp, founder of Expa and Uber; Vitor Lourenco, Expa partner and first Twitter designer; Darian Shirazi, general partner at Google’s Gradient Ventures; Scott Belsky, Adobe’s chief product officer and founder of Behance; Dylan Field, founder of Figma; Gokul Rajaram, executive at DoorDash / Caviar; Jared Hecht, founder and CEO of Fundera; Dan Lewis, founder and CEO of Convoy; and Topher Conway, co-founder of SV Angel. Collective will use the funding to bring the product to market, develop new technologies and products, build out additional community features and more.
Collective began building its platform and team of trusted financial advisors in 2019 and has already attracted a waitlist of thousands of businesses-of-one spanning industries including marketing, sales, design and engineering. Collective’s founders — CEO Hooman Radfar, CPO Ugur Kaner and CTO Bugra Akcay — bring firsthand experience as serial entrepreneurs, creating Collective to solve the pain points that businesses-of-one experience when they launch and grow. After struggling with red tape as a self-employed immigrant to the U.S. and yearning to help and connect with others in the same situation, Kaner and Akcay joined forces with fellow immigrant Radfar. Previously, Radfar founded AddThis and helped lead the company to its acquisition by Oracle. He is also a venture partner at startup studio Expa, which was co-founded by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, and has invested in and launched more than 50 startups. Radfar is an early investor in Uber, Convoy, Onfido, Sweetgreen and more.
“Despite the fact that they represent a third of the workforce, businesses-of-one are deeply underserved and desperately need the right community and tools to run their companies,” said Radfar. “Today, freelancers, consultants and other solopreneurs are banding together in bespoke collectives to pool resources, knowledge, and tools they need to succeed. It’s scary being on your own — we know the feeling. Our vision is to become the first and last collective that businesses-of-one need to join — a trusted partner empowering them with a solution that is tailored to their unique needs, saving them time and money, while connecting them to a community of other members. With Collective, we want running your own business to be as easy as taking a full-time job.”
Collective’s support and offerings are launching at a moment when Americans are seeing a massive shift in the evolution of work. The Passion Economy has energetically emerged as more and more people choose to create their own scalable and rewarding businesses-of-one, instead of pursuing full-time employment at other companies. As everyone simultaneously redefines how the workforce operates in the midst of a global pandemic and widespread economic uncertainty, many companies are shifting to flexible, remote work and increasingly hiring consultants to take on the roles and responsibilities previously allocated to employees. Collective supports all of the back office tasks that come with being self-employed, so businesses-of-one can field more opportunities and focus on their unique skill sets.
“Businesses-of-one have seen explosive growth, especially in recent months as the pandemic accelerates the shift toward remote work and flexible careers,” said Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director at General Catalyst. “Unfortunately, that growth doesn’t mean it has gotten any easier to incorporate and operate as an individual. This is where Collective can really excel. We’re excited to support Hooman and the team as they build the back office platform for the next work age.”
“Collective is launching a concierge back office platform for self-employed entrepreneurs at a pivotal time in our country’s history, given how quickly the nature of work is evolving,” said Frank Rotman, Founding Partner at QED Investors. “I’m thrilled to partner with the team on their mission to transform how businesses-of-one operate, scale, connect and thrive.”
By offering the technology and tools needed to succeed and focus on their passions, Collective members save significant time and an average of $16.8K in 2019 (for those earning $80,000 in revenue). Key offerings include:
- Online Management Dashboard + 3rd-Party Software: All-in-one, user-friendly dashboard that seamlessly combines banking information and access to third-party software like Gusto and QuickBooks
- S Corp Formation: Business incorporation services, including establishing an S Corp and more
- Accounting: Quarterly review of accounts and books with feedback on how to adjust salary and optimize deductions and expenses
- Bookkeeping + Administration: Ongoing guidance, along with transaction categorization, invoice preparation assistance, and monthly management reports
- Personalized Tax Advice: Preparation and filing of business and individual income tax returns and quarterly tax estimates
- Trusted Advisors: Real-time messaging platforms where members can easily reach their designated bookkeeper, tax advisor, and client relationship manager with questions
- Community Access: Community support and opportunities to build meaningful connections with potential collaborators and friends, along with informative and educational content about entrepreneurship, taxes, and more in the form of online guides, blog posts, and weekly newsletters
For more information or to sign up to save time and money, visit www.collective.com.
Collective believes there is strength in numbers. Your business is our business. We are dedicated to increasing the number of financially successful businesses-of-one. We provide an online concierge platform, designed to give self-employed people the technology, team and community they need to easily set up and scale their businesses so they can spend more time at what they are good at, giving them peace of mind, more money and a clear path to success. We take care of all your back office needs from business formation to accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax services in one online platform, guided by our team of trusted advisors. We are founded by serial entrepreneurs who have firsthand experience with the challenges of being a business-of-one, and we are driven by our members’ success. Everything we do, we do for our members. We are relentless in pursuing their goals for financial success. We are headquartered in San Francisco and backed by General Catalyst, QED Investors, Google’s Gradient Ventures, Expa and more. For more information on how to save time and money as a business-of-one, visit www.collective.com.
About General Catalyst:
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Livongo, Oscar, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com.
About QED Investors:
QED Investors is a leading boutique venture capital firm based in Alexandria, VA. QED Investors is focused on investing in early-stage, disruptive financial services companies in North America, South America, and the United Kingdom. QED is dedicated to building great businesses and uses a unique, hands-on approach that leverages its partners’ decades of entrepreneurial and operational experience, helping companies achieve breakthrough growth. Notable investments include Credit Karma, ClearScore, Nubank, SoFi, Avant, Remitly, Flywire, GreenSky, Klarna, QuintoAndar, Konfio, Creditas, and Mission Lane. For more information, visit QEDInvestors.com.