Lean has raised $4.5m in a seed round led by Inspired Capital that included participation from Atelier Ventures, Oceans Ventures and Acequia Capital to ensure gig and independent workers get access to financial products.
A slew of marketplace industry operators also put money in the round, including DoorDash exec Gokul Rajaram; Instacart co-founder Max Mullen; Manik Gupta, ex-CPO Uber; Vivek Patel, ex-COO of Postmates; Bird CPO Ryan Fujiu and others. Other high-profile angels who have backed the company include Charlie Songhurst, Lightspeed Venture Partners (and former Stripe exec) partner Justin Overdorff, Coinbase’s Marc Bhargava, and executives from ANGI Homeservices, Coinbase and Plaid.
The latest financing brings Lean’s total raised to nearly $6m to date.
The company plans to use its new capital to expand its offering and continue to scale across marketplaces.
Lean aims to help independent workers by partnering directly with marketplaces to offer financial products and benefits. The goal is to help marketplaces with worker acquisition and retention by giving gig workers access to no-cost capital, instant payouts and financial products such as mortgages, low-to-no-cost borrowing, HSAs and insurance.
Lean works with marketplaces of all sizes that employ either 1099 or W2 workers that work in industries such as ride-hailing, courier, healthcare and construction. Its platform is designed to be integrated with any marketplace in less than two weeks. Through its marketplace partnerships, Lean expects to be rolling out to hundreds of thousands of gig workers across the country over the coming months.
There’s no cost for marketplaces and no cost for workers. Lean expects to earn revenue through the fees associated with the movement of money via its platform. So far, the startup has inked deals with half a dozen marketplaces, and has another half a dozen in the works.
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