UnderPinned, a London-based startup creating a career platform for freelancers, has raised £500,000 in a three-week campaign on Crowdcube. In exchange, the company offered up a total of 8 percent equity to the 232 backers. Launched two years ago by now 23-year-old Albert Azis-Clauson, the career management platform is designed to be a one-stop shop for freelancers, so far allowing them to build a portfolio, create contracts, and automate invoices and payments.
Through partner services such as Digital Risks, users have access to open banking, self-employed insurance, and legal counsel. To support a fast-growing and underprotected UK workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and an expected economic recession, the startup is offering free basic access to the SaaS platform until September. Azis-Clauson, also the CEO, commented: “The growth of the UnderPinned community over the past year has demonstrated that there is a real appetite for this amongst freelancers, and at the moment we are committed to doing everything we can to help this crucial workforce weather the current storm.” The Crowdcube campaign brings the total amount raised to nearly £1.5 million. Nicholas Nicolaides from Symvan Capital, who have previously invested in the startup, commented: “We have backed UnderPinned from an early stage – the founders, Albert and Jack, have worked hard to provide a much-needed solution to communities in the freelance market.” In the short term, the company will use the funding for operations and to build out its client-side portal, with the long-term goal of reaching 100,000 freelance users in the UK.