Irish entrepreneur’s London start-up Lystable raises $11m

22 Jun 2016

Peter Johnston, CEO and founder of Lystable

Peter Johnston’s London-headquartered enterprise technology start-up Lystable has raised $11m in a Series A round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, as well as Goldcrest Capital and Spring Partners.

Lystable, which was a Start-up of the Week only in January of this year, was founded by University of Ulster graduate Johnston, who had previously worked as a designer for Google, M&C Saatchi and others.

The company was created in response to the rapid growth of the freelance economy, and it allows large enterprises to create their own network of talent.

‘This phase is now one of growth. We have figured out a lot of nuances and worked to make our model repeatable and scalable with large companies’

Future Human

Lystable has created software to help businesses manage relationships with an increasingly flexible workforce of freelancers, independent contractors and vendors.

Lystable’s clients include Google and The Economist, with recent additions including Airbnb, MTV, and CNBC.

It has more than 60 enterprise clients managing over 20,000 contractors and vendors on a weekly basis.

A new league for enterprise software


Johnston and the Lystable team

“This phase is now one of growth,” said Johnston. “We have figured out a lot of nuances and worked to make our model repeatable and scalable with large companies.

“Securing this funding allows us to scale out sales and marketing and bring in a number of key senior hires on product and engineering.”

James Fitzgerald of Valar Ventures and Leila Zegna of Spring Partners have joined Lystable’s board of directors, and Adam Ross of Goldcrest Capital has joined as a board observer.

It is estimated that there are currently 53m people working as freelancers and contractors in the US alone, a figure which is expected to rise rapidly over the next decade. The number of independent professionals in the EU rose from 7.7m to 9.6m between 2008 and 2015.

“Legacy software is not equipped to deal with the growing freelancer economy,” Fitzgerald explained.

“Lystable’s product solves a real pain point for enterprises that are managing an increasing number of freelancers and contractors. Their product is in another league compared with the incumbents.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years