Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures takes a punt on the freelance economy.
Peter Johnston’s freelancer collaboration tool Lystable has raised $10m in a funding round that will also see the company open a new office in Belfast.
Lystable, a previous Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week, is the creator of the popular freelancer collaboration app. It was one of the earliest graduates of UK Techstars.
‘Lystable is at the heart of a seismic shift in how people work’
– JAMES FITZGERALD
Managers in publishing, fashion, content marketing and video production streamline work with freelancers by using Lystable to store profiles, assign work, track invoices and make payments.
Docking soon in Belfast
In addition to the new funding, the company also plans to open a Belfast office in the Ormeau Baths building in the fourth quarter of 2017. Lystable is the first tenant to be confirmed for this space, which will open in May.
It is anticipated that the new office, which will offer customer and client support, will employ up to 10 staff.
“Lystable is at the heart of a seismic shift in how people work,” said James Fitzgerald, founding partner of Valar Ventures.
“The concept of having a single, full-time employer is increasingly a thing of the past. As the freelancer economy grows, companies of all sizes need an efficient and streamlined way to manage their growing army of freelancers.”
The additional funds bring Lystable’s total investment capital raised to $25m.
Valar Ventures, founded by Peter Thiel, James Fitzgerald and Andrew McCormack, led the additional financing with participation from earlier investors including Max Levchin’s SciFi VC (formerly HVF Investments), Kindred Capital and Goldcrest Capital, as well as new investors Glynn Capital and Wilmont Ventures.
The number of freelance workers is growing quickly around the world, but especially in the US, where more than one in three workers today are freelancers.
By 2020 – just three years away – that number is expected to grow to 40pc, according to Deloitte Consulting’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report.
“The freelance economy is the new normal, and became that way extremely quickly,” said SciFi VC partner Eric Scott, who is joining Lystable’s board of directors.
“Companies at the forefront of this trend are scrapping their spreadsheets and antiquated freelance management systems, and opting for Lystable’s freelancer collaboration app to do the job, because it’s so much more efficient and easier to use.”
Lystable’s customers include The Economist, Expedia, NY Daily News, Airbnb, ESPN, CNBC, IDEO and Google.
Founded in London in 2014 by Northern Ireland native Peter Johnston, Lystable’s headquarters are in San Francisco.
“The additional capital will be used to continue to expand our team in the US and specifically to launch a major new product later in 2017,” said Johnston.