NYC-Based Lili Is on a Hiring Spree With Plans to Double Its Headcount
In light of the pandemic’s impact on the workforce, many 9-to-5 employees dabbled in freelance work to get by last year. In fact, freelance workers contributed $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy in annual earnings in 2021 — up $100 million from 2020, according to a report from Upwork. It’s also been reported that 59 million Americans engaged in freelance work within the last 12 months.
Since its last raise, the startup grew from 220,000 to 550,000 users, according to Lili CEO and co-founder Lilac Bar David. David told Built In she expects the company to continue growing at this rate moving forward.
Another big win for 2021 included growing Lili’s internal team by 180 percent. This year, the now 62 person company intends to double in size. The hiring spree also reaches executive levels as Lili is currently on the hunt for its next COO and CFO.
“With our rapid growth, we are attracting individuals that have been industry leaders and already have succeeded in building other rapidly growing companies. Above all, we are excited to be growing our team to help support freelancers, especially with people that have experience with freelancing and are now coming to Lili full-time,” David told Built In via email.
Another thing fueling Lili’s expansion is the launch of its Tax Optimizer, which helps freelancers monitor tax write-offs that apply to their business and personal expenses. Through the optimizer, freelancers can gauge what tax bracket they are in while also being able to separate their freelance income from their 9-to-5 work.
“Taxes are one of the last things most people want to think about. And yet, it’s a huge part of a freelancer’s financial health, having a significant impact on one’s bottom line,” David said. “The tax optimizer toolkit has brought lots of new interest to the Lili platform as this is many freelancers’ first tax season on their own. Most of these features are free to use with no account minimum, allowing independent workers to take control of their finances ahead of one of the most financially stressful times of the year.”
Prior to launching the Tax Optimizer, Lili’s initial offering was as a mobile banking app designed specifically for freelancers and gig workers. The banking app provides free ATMs, banking insights and no account fees or minimum balance requirements. Additionally, the app allows freelancers to put a percentage of their paycheck away for owed taxes.