One of the greatest parts about America is our free market and the ability to try to make money however works. Making it as a free lancer, if you can do it, is an incredible thing; you have the freedom, you are doing something you are good at and most likely enjoy…but no one is saying it’s easy. AND CO is easing this pain. At AND CO all of your freelancing administrative office-work is taken care of. From invoices to expenses to taxes you will have more time to focus on your product and need less time trying to figure out how to file your taxes by tax day.
AlleyWatch got in touch with the recently funded AND CO and got the inside scoop on how they are providing this deep of a network for our freelancers.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a $2M Seed round lead by Thrive Capital and with participation from Red Swan Ventures, The Designer Fund and BoxGroup.
Tell us about your product or service.
AND CO is a support structure for independent workers. Through a combo of smart tech and real humans, AND CO runs the admin work of the project-based freelancer. While your personal Chief Operator handles invoicing clients, managing billing schedules, automatically tracking business expenses, and assisting with tax deductible questions and more.
What inspired you to start the company?
Martin and I both turned (technically) freelance at the same time and ran against the wall of needing to find out how to set ourselves up, learning the basics of running our businesses etc. We realized there is no place to go to just sign up and be done with it. So we decided to build it.
How is it different?
While current products geared towards freelancers require them to learn accounting software and perform all business admin tasks themselves, AND CO is designed to do it for them. Most of the experience is conversational and therefore intuitive. Users require zero previous knowledge or admin experience. And through the combination of software and human expertise, it’s a system that takes care of you, not the other way around.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Freelance work is booming in America, especially amongst millennials, who now constitute the country’s largest working demographic. Today, over 53 million Americans, or 34% of the US workforce,have taken up some level of freelance work, with approximately 36 million freelancing full-time.
What’s your business model?
Members pay a monthly subscription for the service.
What aspect of freelancer support are you looking to next?
We are about to launch payments & time tracking. From there we will build out the service more, always with a focus on the most painful, admin related tasks.
What was the funding process like?
Awesome. It’s incredible how much you learn about your product, market and yourself when going out trying to convince strangers to give you money.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
We were pre-launch. Not every investors is comfortable with that.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
You should ask them 😉 I think the biggest factors were the unique product design, our understanding of the market and that our vision is bigger than just the current utility.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We are having a bunch of product improvements in the pipeline, but most strongly our goals are around user growth.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of
capital in the bank?
Know what your plan would be if you don’t raise another round.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
I barely drink anymore. So let’s make that Dim Sum Go Go and turn it into lunch.