We are thrilled to announce that we’ve led a $3 million seed round in Wethos!
Wethos curates innovative teams of marketing specialists to work with meaningful brands. Wethos doesn’t neatly fit into any single investment category - Instead, it’s what you’d get if a network, managed marketplace, and future of work platform had a futuristic baby. This atypical model is one of the keys to Wethos’ momentum and traction in the market.
By delivering on the promise of curating the right people for every project in a compelling time frame and price bracket, Wethos’ offering exceeds that of traditional solutions by an order of magnitude. At the same time, Wethos provides freelancers with an alternative to the lonely, uncertain, and “race to the bottom” reality of most independent work. By enabling users to find work they actually care about, removing the burden of administrative work management, and always putting freelancers’ rights at the forefront, Wethos repairs the broken trust of the gig economy and, as one of their specialists aptly said, creates “what freelance work was actually meant to be”.
No one is better equipped to tackle this opportunity than the Wethos team. They have remained uncompromising on both building a better world for freelancers while simultaneously tackling the highest pain points in the market, and we can’t wait to see them embark on this next stage.
We were initially introduced to Rachel by Mike MacCombie two years ago (thanks again, Mike!). At the time, Wethos was still in the earlier stages of building its bench of freelance specialists, with a focus on matching individuals to projects. Because of the b2c-esque nature of freelance community-building, the company was not a fit for Laconia’s b2b SaaS-focused investment strategy at the time. Still, we had no doubts about Rachel’s focus, passion, and inevitable success. Over the next two years, we stayed in touch, regularly meeting for working sessions, catching up more casually, and collaborating on tech/VC community events.
Fast forward to our latest catch-up this past February. Wethos had built a community of 4,000+ freelance specialists, in large part cracking the chicken-or-egg problem that b2b/b2c companies often have. They had launched dozens of teams for leading organizations after having successfully navigated a major business model pivot, all while building out a formidable distributed team and figuring out how to scalably create, launch, and manage curated teams in a new and unique way. As we dove into the mechanics of the business, I was blown away by the level of detailed thought in every component. So it was no surprise that when Rachel asked, “Which funds do you recommend we talk to about this round?”, my answer was 🙋.
After Rachel got the rest of our team up to speed (they were stoked as well!), we dove right into our due diligence process, which got us even more excited about the company for multiple reasons. One of the core components of our due diligence process is introducing companies to 6-12 prospective customers in order to gauge market demand, value proposition strength, differentiation, and our ability to add value by opening doors, all while simultaneously generating sales leads for the company. With Wethos, we received resoundingly positive feedback, with about half of the organizations immediately moving forward with the process to hire Wethos teams. This conviction was echoed by Wethos’ existing customers and freelancers, who highlighted the exceptional quality of the specialists and Wethos’ seamless workflows as the main selling points.
We’ve found that how companies handle due diligence is often strongly correlated with how they run their business. We often see CEOs paralyzed during fundraising due to the bandwidth drain, but Rachel had everything ready to go and seamlessly collaborated with her team throughout the whole process. This delegation, responsiveness, and thoroughness were strong signals of the Wethos team’s high level of trust and efficiency. Our impression of this team dynamic was cemented by the group meeting we had with co-founders Rachel, Kristen, and Claire. The three of them demonstrated a deep mutual respect, complementary skills, individual adaptability within their evolving roles, and an unwavering shared vision for the company.
As with all of our investments, we worked in partnership with the founders to identify a strong co-investor group for this round. We couldn’t be more excited to be working with ValueStream Ventures, Loup Ventures, and Overton, among others, as well as existing investors including Flybridge and BBV.
We could go on for days about the massive market opportunity, innovative structure, and many other things that excite us about this company -- but instead we’ll leave you to check out some of their incredible work, follow them to stay posted in real time, and explore opportunities to join them as a specialist, customer, or teammate.