On-demand workforce assistance startup Steady has raised $9 million in a Series A funding round led by San Francisco-based Propel Venture Partners with participation from Omidyar Network, the impact investing firm established by the founder of eBay. Former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal also contributed to the round and will be joining the team as an advisor and advocate for the startup’s customer base.
“We’ve been self-financed by our chairman for the last 15 months of the development of our business. We’ve been approached in the last six months by a number of VCs, and the time was finally right for us to partner with some folks that will bring a lot of value to the table,” CEO Adam Roseman tells Hypepotamus. The startup won the pitch event at global financial services conference Money 20/20 last year and launched publicly last week.
“This will help us accelerate our product roadmap to the grand vision we have of creating a significant impact for a large number of America’s struggling workers,” Roseman says. “We’ve built a large engineering and developer team in Atlanta and our focus is on ramping the team up and accelerating our roadmap as quickly as possible to support our workers.”
Steady’s platform connects prospective workers that want to find on-demand or contract work with opportunities tailored to fit their qualifications, interests, geography and availability. Roseman says it’s a fit for anyone who works an additional job other than their 9-to-5.
The mobile platform also allows workers to manage all these gigs in one place.
“North of 70 million Americans are doing non-traditional forms of work, meaning they’re either doing gig work, part-time or supplemental work along with their full-time work,” says Roseman. “We’re entirely user-centric; everything we do is focused on the worker. We have the ability to tell them what’s the best supplemental work for them.”
“Additionally, we’ve layered in some initial benefits and discounts in pharmaceuticals, and discovery tools like new opportunities and what similar people are doing to earn money. We’re focused on helping the worker achieve the best possible outcome for themselves.”
The startup builds its database through partnerships, allowing its users to create a community and network with likeminded peers to discover new opportunities and increase their earning potential.
Part of O’Neal’s contribution will be to share Steady’s story with the media, expanding on the challenges American workers are facing today.
“I’ve had a relationship with Shaquille and his team for close to five years now through previous work. When I shared with him and his management team the story of Steady and what we were looking to accomplish, they immediately grasped the concept,” says Roseman. “Shaquille grew up in a very modest environment and his family and friends are still struggling with income in Louisiana. He saw the need and asked if he could be part of it.”
“The traditional 9-5 career path doesn’t work for everyone, and we’re seeing more and more people set out to make their own way. Steady sees and serves this group, giving them the tools to discover new job opportunities and the resources to earn more money and take control,” said O’Neal in a statement. “Helping hardworking folks do and get more is an important mission and I’m excited to be part of it.”
As of this week, the app has already seen 100,000 downloads, and according to Roseman, new features will be rolling out every few weeks to further customize the experience.