Online Back Office Platform Collective Raises $8.65 Million

By Dan Anderson ● October 1, 2020
  • Collective — an online back office platform designed for businesses-of-one — announced that it has raised $8.65 million in funding

Collective — an online back office platform designed for businesses-of-one — announced that it has raised $8.65 million in funding to empower, support, and connect the self-employed community that comprises 36% of the American workforce. General Catalyst and QED Investors led the funding round

Collective’s technology and team of advisors give members the freedom to focus on what matters by taking care of everything from business incorporation to accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services in one platform.

Additional investors that joined the round include Google’s Gradient Ventures and Expa. And individual investors include entrepreneurs and executives Garrett Camp (founder of Expa and Uber), Vitor Lourenco (Expa partner and first Twitter designer), Darian Shirazi (general partner at Google’s Gradient Ventures), Scott Belsky (Adobe’s chief product officer and founder of Behance), Dylan Field (founder of Figma), Gokul Rajaram (executive at DoorDash / Caviar), Jared Hecht (founder and CEO of Fundera), Dan Lewis (founder and CEO of Convoy), and Topher Conway (co-founder of SV Angel). And Collective will use the funding to bring the product to market, develop new technologies and products, build out additional community features, etc.

Collective started building its platform and team of trusted financial advisors in 2019. And the comapny has already attracted a waitlist of thousands of businesses-of-one spanning industries including marketing, sales, design and engineering.

Collective’s founders CEO Hooman Radfar, CPO Ugur Kaner and CTO Bugra Akcay also bring firsthand experience as serial entrepreneurs, creating Collective to solve the pain points that businesses-of-one experience when they launch and grow. And after struggling with red tape as a self-employed immigrant to the U.S. and yearning to help and connect with others in the same situation, Kaner and Akcay joined forces with fellow immigrant Radfar.

Previously, Radfar founded AddThis and helped lead the company to its acquisition by Oracle. And he is also a venture partner at startup studio Expa — which was co-founded by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp and has invested in and launched more than 50 startups. Radfar is an early investor in Uber, Convoy, Onfido, Sweetgreen, etc.

Collective’s support are launching at a moment when Americans are seeing a massive shift in the evolution of work. As everyone is simultaneously redefining how the workforce operates in the midst of a global pandemic and widespread economic uncertainty, many companies are moving to flexible, remote work, and increasingly hiring consultants to take on the roles and responsibilities previously allocated to employees. Collective essentially supports all of the back office tasks that come with being self-employed, so businesses-of-one can field more opportunities and focus on their unique skill sets.

KEY QUOTES:

“Despite the fact that they represent a third of the workforce, businesses-of-one are deeply underserved and desperately need the right community and tools to run their companies. Today, freelancers, consultants and other solopreneurs are banding together in bespoke collectives to pool resources, knowledge, and tools they need to succeed. It’s scary being on your own — we know the feeling. Our vision is to become the first and last collective that businesses-of-one need to join — a trusted partner empowering them with a solution that is tailored to their unique needs, saving them time and money, while connecting them to a community of other members. With Collective, we want running your own business to be as easy as taking a full-time job.”

— Collective’s founders CEO Hooman Radfar

“Businesses-of-one have seen explosive growth, especially in recent months as the pandemic accelerates the shift toward remote work and flexible careers. Unfortunately, that growth doesn’t mean it has gotten any easier to incorporate and operate as an individual. This is where Collective can really excel. We’re excited to support Hooman and the team as they build the back office platform for the next work age.”

— Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director at General Catalyst

“Collective is launching a concierge back office platform for self-employed entrepreneurs at a pivotal time in our country’s history, given how quickly the nature of work is evolving. I’m thrilled to partner with the team on their mission to transform how businesses-of-one operate, scale, connect and thrive.”

— Frank Rotman, Founding Partner at QED Investors