Aiming to provide freelancers and gig-workers the same security and benefits “regular” employees receive, French startup Jump has raised €4 million in seed funding. The service offers a host of services including invoicing, payroll, benefits, compliance, and accounting tools, and the list goes on. The funding will allow Jump to consolidate its presence in France before expanding to the UK and Spain. Ultimately, the aim of the startup is to help define a new relationship between the reality of today’s workforce and the society it functions within.
According to a Malt and Boston Consulting Group study, there are over 22 million self-employed workers in Europe, with the majority citing “complete autonomy” as the major draw. Now add the new labour generation of millennials, and the upcoming Gen Z, both of whom often look for work that is an offshoot of their passions and interests, and the “traditional” operating procedures for freelancers and gig-workers is looking mighty, well, “traditional”.
The vulnerability of the gig economy was painfully exposed during the pandemic, with many a sole trader having to close up shop, or, in the case of your humble author, spend many a sleepless night scrambling to find a new vocation.
Enter, Jump. By offering workers permanent contracts in a matter of minutes, freelancers and gig-workers gain instant access to benefits including regular payslips, social security, and unemployment protection. Now, if you’re thinking, “umbrella company,” yes and no. Yes, but, unlike a traditional umbrella, Jump doesn’t take the lion’s share of wages, but rather generates revenues from a subscription fee and access to products and preferential deals with third parties. These private providers include Malt, Talent.io, LeGratin, Alan, Axa, Secret and Simbel, and give freelancers and gig-workers access to insurance, health, training, and labour marketplace services.
“The social contract between citizens, states, and employers presumes employment as the norm, but that’s increasingly out of step with reality,” commented CEO Nicolas Fayon. “On the one hand, you have a classic labour market that’s less and less compatible with what people want. But when people take the jump into self-employment, they see it’s broken, with no benefits and no security. This mismatch feeds uncertainty, inequality, and political polarisation. By giving the self-employed the same dignity and security of ‘regular’ workers, we are supporting greater creativity, autonomy, and fulfilling forms of work to flourish across the world.”
Jump’s seed round was led by Index Ventures and joined by 16 angel investors including Nicolas Brusson, CEO and co-founder of BlaBlaCar; Hanno Renner, CEO and co-founder of Personio; Laurent Ritter, co-founder of Voodoo; Thibaud Elziere, co-founder of eFounders; and Kima Ventures.
“A growing number of people want to be their own bosses, but the tools to support flexible work simply aren’t there. For many freelancers and gig workers, there’s too much of a trade-off between freedom and security,” says Index Ventures’ Martin Mignot. “That’s where Jump comes in: they’re building the infrastructure for the new world of work. We believe the team has both the technical excellence and entrepreneurial drive to help fix the underlying problem and so to unlock the creative and entrepreneurial potential for the next generation.”