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MOBILE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS | Mobile Software & Services / HR & Workforce Management
wonolo.com

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Founded Year

2013

Stage

Series D | Alive

Total Raised

$194.42M

Last Raised

$138M | 3 mos ago

Mosaic Score

+20 points in the past 30 days

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The Mosaic Score is an algorithm that measures the overall financial health and market potential of private companies.

About Wonolo

Wonolo is an on-demand staffing platform that enables businesses to fill their immediate labor needs.

Wonolo Headquarter Location

9450 SW Gemini Dr.

Beaverton, Oregon, 97008,

United States

978-317-7264

Latest Wonolo News

This staffing platform wants to change the game when it comes to benefits for gig workers

Jan 12, 2022

4 Min Read REGISTER NOW Employer-sponsored benefits are typically reserved for employees with full-time positions. Healthcare, retirement savings, sick time and vacation days aren’t as easily accessible to 1099 and gig workers — but one staffing company says that doesn’t have to be the norm anymore. Yong Kim, CEO of Wonolo, a company that helps employers connect with contract workers, says looking to examples set by other countries can help U.S. employers better support contract workers through benefits. “Benefits in the U.S. are employer-sponsored, and what that means is 1099 contractors don’t have access to that unless they decide to seek it out for themselves,” Kim says. “If you look at countries like Canada and Germany that don’t have that binary worker classification system, workers there enjoy flexibility and have access to various worker protections in the form of benefits .” U.S. gig workers are missing out on benefits that can be critical to their physical, mental and financial well-being, making it vital that they can connect with organizations that can navigate the legal complexities and administrative barriers that can keep them from receiving support. “Our thinking at Wonolo is that even with the legal constraints that we have in the U.S., why can’t we adopt a model that's similar to some of these other countries,” Kim says. “What if we bring the best of both worlds — so you have that flexibility as gig workers, and still get access to all the benefits of full time workers.” Kim recently connected with Employee Benefit News to discuss how Wonolo is helping gig workers get access to fundamental benefits. What challenges do gig workers commonly face, and how can companies do a better job of supporting them? First, if a gig worker gets hurt on the job, they don't have any access to insurance. If you're a full-time worker, you have access to insurances like workers’ comp — 1099 workers do not have that. For us at Wonolo, it was a problem that we had to solve immediately. Insurance companies have told us that contractors can purchase insurance and cover themselves, but that’s incredibly expensive for these workers. It’s very difficult to build a one-on-one relationship between gig workers and employers, because today they may be working at Coca-Cola, but tomorrow they are working at Nordstrom. So we saw an opportunity to serve as an administrative agent that can facilitate insurance offerings to workers. We can negotiate a significantly cheaper rate with an insurance underwriter and design a program where workers pay very little and employers can chip in, Wonolo can chip in, and it becomes very affordable for the workers — and the insurance will then follow the worker wherever they go. Outside of on-the-job risks, what issues might gig workers be facing that employers don’t realize? Housing. A lot of the workers in this demographic that we serve may not have the right access to the long-term housing opportunities. At Wonolo, we partnered with PadSplit [which rents rooms on a weekly basis], to provide those flexible housing opportunities. In a recent survey of 3,000 Wonoloers, 46% told us they plan to use Wonolo while traveling to find employment opportunities in different cities. We have partnered with PadSplit because of the rising number of workers gravitating towards nomadic lifestyles. Wonoloers get access to discounted rates, and rooms are rented by the week, are completely furnished and include utilities, laundry and WIFI. Paid time off is obviously something that is elusive to most gig workers. What’s the fix for making sure that this community gets a chance to rest? Typically 1099 contractors, if they aren’t working, then they aren’t making any money. So we started to think about vacation and sick days and how to solve that. We came up with the idea of flexible time off — we call it FTO. Gig workers on the Wonolo platform accrue days [the same way full time employees do] and they can use that time off for whatever they need. We introduced the concept of FTO during the pandemic, as we did not want workers to choose between going to the doctor or getting paid. As workers work, they accrue the FTO. They can cash out FTO the month after it’s earned and use it for whatever they’d like — such as a paid day off, a vacation, or even a last-minute emergency. How does this all support a more secure future for these workers? Is that something you’re thinking about? We haven't quite solved the retirement benefits challenge yet, but we believe that as we continue moving in this direction of applying the fundamental concept of portable benefits, we're very positive that we can offer more. Fifty-percent of workers tell us they are struggling to make ends meet, so we partner with other companies that are focused on investing, savings and tax tools. For example, Acorns allows workers to invest spare change, save for retirement, and invest in their kids’ futures. Through our partnership with them, our members receive a $30 bonus upon creating the account and can use that towards their first investment. We also partner with SeedFi, which offers all Wonoloers free credit building, and Digit, a smart bank account that analyzes your income and spending every day to automatically add to your savings goals. By Dina Bass

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Expert Collections containing Wonolo

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Wonolo is included in 1 Expert Collection, including HR Tech.

H

HR Tech

3,970 items

HR tech startups are helping companies manage critical pain points in HR processes such as recruitment, automation, career development, compensation, and benefits management, through a mix of software and services.

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