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compensate freelancers the companies have contracted with through Ease. The startup in turn passes some of that money on to the freelancers—similar to how many staffing agencies work.
Ease can still help workers find gigs that pay less than $2,500 a month, but Harris says they’re not eligible for the startup’s “concierge” freelance management service. The service is aimed in part at simplifying communication between employer and worker by having a concierge—someone on Ease’s 13-person team, Harris says—act as the go-between. He says the service is something that sets Ease apart from Fiverr and some of the other job-finding technologies that are popular today.
“They’re all open, two-sided marketplaces with no quality control,” Harris says. “We have a managed marketplace.”
Ease’s revenues in April were $20,583, with a gross profit of $9,583, Harris says—a profit margin of nearly 47 percent.
“The goal is to continue to grow that margin,” Harris says. “We want to stay at around 40 to 50 percent.”
The startup projects its total sales in 2018 will eclipse $710,000.
Ease has two other full-time employees: director of sales Kevin Kowalke and chief operating officer Saul Sutton, who is Harris’s brother as well as a co-founder.
One of the frequently cited downsides of gigging is that workers who are classified as freelancers or independent contractors are often not entitled to all the same perks and benefits as corporate employees.
As Ease attempts to lure more professionals and companies to its marketplace, Harris says the startup might also partner with insurers and other organizations to provide some freelancers with benefits.
“Everything from health insurance to 401(k) to business insurance, bundled under deals that get all the freelancers to go on group plans—we’re going to continue to grow this community,” he says.
Ease plans to raise a Series A funding round in the future, but Harris said it’s a bit early to say when that’s likely to happen and how much the startup will seek to raise. He says bringing in outside investment on top of the revenues Ease is generating is the right formula to fuel the company’s growth.
“The Series A [round] will be used to take those same systems that are working and invest more in them,” Harris says. “And then you grow faster. Once you’ve started, you need to keep growing as fast as you can.”