AND CO, a service that helps freelancers automate their business logistics, launched out of beta today.
The New York-based startup was founded by Leif Abraham and Martin Strutz in 2015, born out of venture development firm Prehype, which also incubated BarkBox and Managed by Q. Abraham and Strutz created AND CO with a mission to empower freelancers to work more fluidly, and fairly, with companies. Using the platform, freelancers can manage invoices, file expenses, track time, manage projects and receive payments on contract work, all through a smart bot that creates automated reminders. Currently, over 5,000 freelancers have used AND CO to run their operations.
“We started AND CO to define a standard for what it means to be a freelancer and create a place to help people get started,” said AND CO co-founder Leif Abraham. “As we grow we want to be able to help freelancers know things like how much they should charge, freelancer-friendly companies, etcetera.”
The ‘standard’ that the AND CO team created refers to how the service works to help freelancers set up and run their operations, including a standard workflow, standard data structure and standard business ethics. The company achieves this through its core product — an automated smart bot that, combined with real human expertise, helps freelancers take care of administrative tasks.
Because the platform is designed around a conversational experience, AND CO members can use the service without any prior knowledge of administrative or freelance work. AND CO is now available on all major platforms, including Web, iOS, Mac and Android.
“We’re seeing a major trend in the freelance market in the natural evolution of careers,” said Abraham. “While the baby boomer generation would stick to a job for 20-30 years, and retire at that job, we’re seeing a major shift in the millennial mindset towards freelance work. We have to build a new support structure for that new type of worker and that’s what we’re doing.”
To date, the company has raised $2.5 million in funding from investors such as Thrive Capital, BoxGroup, Red Swan Ventures, The Designer Fund and Prehype.