Freelancers work with a myriad of different companies but not many freelance workers know how to offer their skills to non-profits who are in desperate need for reliable and cost effective talent. Wethos is the platform that connects freelance workers with non-profits, streamlining the process for a win-win for both sides. The model is similar to that of Upwork where Wethos collects a percentage of the project fee. The company has raised $1M in a funding round in the summer of 2017 and is backed by several NYC investors including Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and Corigin Ventures.
AlleyWatch sat down with cofounders Rachel Renock, Claire Humphreys and Kristen Ablamsky to learn more about the company, its origin, future plans, and how access to the gig economy is changing the non-profit landscape.
Tell us about Wethos.
Wethos is creating the first and only purpose-driven economy by connecting highly skilled professionals with more meaningful work in the nonprofit industry that is in desperate need of a slew of resources. With organizations being judged on overhead and forced to keep their full-time staff lean, Wethos is streamlining their massive short-term needs for finding individual talent. Wethos has worked with over 2,500 freelancers of all backgrounds and with various skills by partnering them with 400+ nonprofit organizations whose mission we align with.
How is Wethos different?
Wethos is the first mission-driven freelance platform. We are committed to connecting freelancers with projects that align with their personal passions. From nonprofit staffing to socially conscious businesses, our mission is to challenge the notion that we cannot do good and make money and create a world in which those things are no longer mutually exclusive.
What market does Wethos attack and how big is it?
We are attacking two different markets, the gig economy and the nonprofit sector. With over 57M+ freelancers and 1.5M nonprofits in the US alone, we plan on revolutionizing the sector to create the first purpose-driven economy where people can finally do good and make money.
What is the business model?
Organizations and freelancers sign up and post projects on Wethos for free. Once the freelancers are paired with an organization, 15% of the project fee from the freelancer agreement total goes to Wethos to cover costs. We don’t charge the nonprofits any additional fees, only the agreed contract with the freelancer.
What inspired the business?
With deep backgrounds in advertising, we understood how essential it was to work on meaningful projects that aligned with their beliefs and passions. We also had a personal understanding of the hurdles organizations had to go through to find talented freelancers who could work within their parameters.
Why the decision to focus on the nonprofit sector where companies often are cash constrained?
That is exactly why we decided to focus on the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits are doing some of the most important work, but since their resources are limited, they may not have access to top talent. With the ability to connect for short-term projects, nonprofits can produce top-tier work and focus on the causes we are committed to.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
World domination. Wait that might be too short of a time frame. But seriously, the next six months include us closing our seed round and continuing to expand our presence in the social impact space, while launching an enterprise option for larger nonprofits for organizations like ADL and Doctors Without Borders that we’re working with at the moment.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
To read Venture Deals. Seriously, everyone who ever plans on raising money needs to read it.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Anthony Romero, Executive Director at the ACLU, but also down to hang with the founders of TheSkimm.
Why did you launch in New York?
All three founders have been living in New York for years, working in ad agencies like Havas Worldwide and 360i. And with how impactful the creative community is here alongside the vast amount of nonprofits and social impact organizations in the city, it made sense to launch our marketplace in NYC.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Our team spends maybe too much time at Vanessa’s Dumplings.