Tuesday 25 February 2020 9:30 am

Zoopla investor ploughs £3.3m into London gig economy startup's seed round

Collective Benefits, a gig economy startup which is set to exit Facebook’s London accelerator next month, has closed £3.3m in seed funding.

The round was led by Stride.VC, a backer of Zoopla, Secret Escapes and Pill Pack, with participation from Delin Ventures and Insurtech Gateway. Collective said a number of angel investors also joined the round, who have experience in building popular gig economy firms such as Uber and Deliveroo.

The startup is building a benefits platform that provides gig economy workers with access to employment benefits that other mainstream tech workers would receive, such as sick pay, family leave and mental health support.

“There are 6m self-employed workers in the UK, which includes both higher-paid freelancers and gig economy platform workers. Yet, neither group typically has a safety net — no holiday pay, no family leave, no mental health support, not even paid sick days,” said Anthony Beilin, chief executive of Collective Benefits, a former global head of innovation at insurance giant Aviva.

“We are building Collective Benefits so that the gig economy workers are covered by the same protections typically reserved for full-time employees.”

Read more: Investors splash the cash on British fintech startups

Collective Benefits will be among the most recent cohort to successfully exit Facebook’s startup accelerator programme LDN_Lab when it ends next month.

Statistics provided by Collective Benefits showed 96 per cent of freelance workers in the UK currently don’t have any form of income protection, while 93 per cent don’t have access to health or critical illness cover.

“We’re seeing services platforms gain unstoppable momentum in every segment of our lives, from rides to food delivery to freelancing,” said Fred Destin, partner at Stride.VC.

“We need a new playbook. Collective Benefits addresses one of the core challenges in this brave new world of work, using technology to design and deliver a new type of safety net to all the participants in this fast-growing part of our economy.”

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