Willa founder and CEO, Kristofer Sommestad

Willa founder and CEO, Kristofer Sommestad

Venice-based financial technology company Willa Inc. has raised $18 million in Series A funding for its platform that helps freelancers get paid on time for their work.

The round, which was announced July 7, was led by New York-based venture capital fund FinTech Collective with participation from London-based Entrée Capital and Stockholm-based EQT Ventures. The round brings the company’s total funding to $21 million.

Willa plans to use the funding to expand its invite-only app, which currently has a waitlist of 150,000 freelance workers, and to expand the services it offers. The company also plans to hire between 40 and 50 more employees by the end of 2021.

“Many freelancing tools have seen the light of day, but none solve their biggest problems,” Kristofer Sommestad, co-founder and chief executive of Willa, said in a statement. “Willa is a beautiful user experience built on a simple premise: Finance doesn’t have to be about anxiety, spreadsheets, templates or vendor forms.”

Founded in 2019, Willa’s platform replaces the traditional invoicing process for freelancers by paying freelancers immediately. It gives the freelancer's clients the option to pay over 30, 60 or 90 days. For every transaction, Willa takes a 2.9% fee.

The company launched a beta version of its platform last September and is currently rolling out the iOS app to its waitlist. It also has offices in Stockholm.

Willa’s debut follows a year of massive growth for the freelance economy. In 2020, the freelance workforce contributed $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy, up 22% from 2019, according freelance platform Upwork Inc. The company estimates that there are roughly 59 million freelancers in the U.S.

“Freelancing is the future of work,” Sommestad said in a statement. “But most of our society hasn’t caught up with this. The system seems to revolve around the idea that you’re a corporation or an employee. As a result, an entire generation of freelance workers are overlooked and ignored, and we’re on a mission to solve that problem.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.