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Gig economy worker and freelancer payment platform SteadyPay has raised $5m (£4m) in a Series A round led by Digital Horizon.

Additional investors include Ascension Ventures via its Fair By Design fund, the UK government’s Future Fund and angel investors.

The London-based startup said it will use the funds to “offer more products to eliminate financial stress” for its customers and partners, said SteadyPay co-founder and CEO John Downie.

SteadyPay’s technology uses open banking to integrate with a gig economy worker’s bank account. It calculates their average monthly income, then if it falls below that figure it offers to top the user’s income up.

Users then repay through interest-free payments. SteadyPay charges a £4 weekly subscription and charges administration fees.

“Fuelled by the pandemic and a new work paradigm, the gig-economy continues to create new forms of employment very quickly,” said Alan Vaksman, founder and managing partner of Digital Horizon.

“However, the financial services industry has not evolved to meet their needs at the same speed. This means millions of people with a high, but not fixed income, have limited access to financial services. This is a social inequality and a missed business opportunity at the same time.”

“This means millions of people with a high, but not fixed income, have limited access to financial services. This is a social inequality and a missed business opportunity at the same time,” Vaksman added.

Digital Horizon manages two multistage funds, a growth and a venture builder. It focuses on fintech and enterprise software. Previous investments include Klarna, Monday.com and Bolt.

Founded in 2017, SteadyPay’s previous funding rounds include a £2.9m seed equity and debt funding round in 2020 led by Hambro Perks and Ascension Ventures via its Fair By Design fund.

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