Stoke, a freelance management system startup, has raised $15.5 million in a Series A funding round that will help drive its expansion to meet growing demand from US companies, according to an announcement.
The funding round was led by Battery Ventures, a global tech-focused investment firm, and participated by TLV Partners, Dynamic and Loop, and a handful of angel investors. The latest round raises the funds secured by the company to date to $20 million.
With the fresh capital, Stoke said it will expand further to meet the rapidly growing demand from US companies seeking to work more effectively in the changing workforce, which includes both freelancers and full-time employees.
Founded in 2019 by Hilik Paz and Shahar Erez, Stoke makes it easy for companies to work with independent contractors, reducing the hassle of hiring, onboarding, tracking, and managing invoices while ensuring full legal and tax compliance.
The company said the nature of the workforce is changing, moving from a workforce dominated by full-time workers to one where freelancers are becoming more prominent; projections show that the freelance workforce is expected to grow to over 50% of the total U.S workforce by 2027.
COVID-19 has accelerated the shift further, as companies have quickly realized the need for added agility and flexibility to survive such disruption, leaning on freelance talent to do so.
“The way we do business has changed, the talent we choose to work with needs to change with it,” says Shahar Erez, CEO and Co-founder of Stoke. “But, we can’t expect it when neither side has yet had the proper support.”
Stoke works with companies of all sizes, including unicorns like TripActions, SimilarWeb, Scale.ai, and Verbit. The company raised $4.5 million in its Seed round in 2019, led by TLV Partners, an Israel-based venture capital firm dedicated to investing in innovative early-stage rounds.
“Stoke is a secure all-in-one platform that enables companies to hire top talents quickly, set up automated onboarding workflows aligned with government guidelines, pay multiple invoices across 190 countries,” the startup said.