The pandemic has changed the world of work forever. It has taught employers that they need to agile and flexible – and one way to do this is to contract in freelance talent.
Within a month of European freelance marketplace Malt closing a $97 million round, California-based freelance management system Stoke, which aims to help US companies access top-quality freelance talent, has closed a $15.5 million Series A. This brings Stoke’s total funding to $20m.
The round was led by Battery Ventures. Existing investors and angels —TLV Partners, Dynamic, and Loop — as well as a handful of Stoke’s customers, also participated in the round.
Stoke CEO Shahar Erez said: “The way we do business has changed, the talent we choose to work with needs to change with it.
“But, we can’t expect it when neither side has yet had the proper support.
“These funds will follow us as we build out our own category and cement a single source of truth for business leaders to manage any and every aspect of freelance talent overhead, and to help them securely leverage the most dynamic kind of workforce.”
Stoke wants to do this by growing its platform, which provides an all-in-one solution to hire, onboard, and pay freelancers. The entire transaction is done in a fully visible and compliant way, the company says.
Stoke’s platform growth will enable it to meet the accelerating demand for freelance talent in the US. Companies that currently use Stoke’s platform include SimilarWeb, Scaleai, SeaLights, and Verbit.
Battery general partner, who is joining Stoke’s board following the funding, Itzik Parnafes noted: “At Battery we’ve made many investments around the future of work.
“But we believe the comprehensive solution Stoke is building to help companies manage their growing networks of freelancers and independent contractors is really unique—and is obviously very relevant today.
“Having one tool that can source, onboard, manage, pay and ensure compliance with this extended workforce helps companies become more productive and stay agile without adding risk.”