February 23, 2021

Powering the Future of Independent Work — Our Series A in Contra

Sarah Leary
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Powering the Future of Independent Work — Our Series A in ContraPowering the Future of Independent Work — Our Series A in Contra
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Editor's note: 

Today, we at Unusual Ventures are thrilled to announce we have partnered with the Contra team to support their mission to empower independent workers. We are pleased to lead the company's $14.5M Series A round, with participation from Cowboy Ventures and Atelier Ventures.


The future of work is changing, with more people wanting to build careers based on flexible work. Contra is designed from the ground up for anyone looking to build and grow their independent career, whether they are an established freelance worker with a full roster of clients or just getting started with independent work. Built around a person’s profile, Contra is designed to help users highlight recent projects, relevant skills, and fellow collaborators. This makes it easier for prospective clients to discover and hire talented independent workers, wherever they may be located. In addition to helping independent workers showcase their unique skills and list their services, Contra also makes managing client projects easier by negotiating terms, signing contracts, and handling payment details.  


For several months, the Unusual team has been focused on finding a company that is building a robust platform for the growing community of independent and project-based workers who need a way to highlight their skills and manage their business. During this time, we met Ben Huffman and Gajus Kuizanas and were immediately impressed with their passion for this community. We were also impressed with the quality of the entire Contra team and their ability to build a beautiful product worthy of the abundant skills of so many independent workers.


We have been blown away by the early response from the Contra community of users—proof they are on to something big. Since its soft launch in March 2020, hundreds of thousands of independent workers have joined Contra to showcase their skills through past projects and to cultivate their own referral networks. While Contra’s user base is made up of all ages and backgrounds, it has been especially inspiring to see the dramatic growth from young independent workers, who are coming of age in unprecedented times and embracing more flexible careers. 


Contra has come at a crucial time for the changing global workforce. More than one-third of the American workforce are freelancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy. The number of freelancers in the US is continuously growing and is expected to exceed 90.1 million by 2028. Workers of all walks of life are embracing freelance work for the first time and we’re excited to back a platform custom built for their growing needs.


All of us at Unusual Ventures are thrilled to partner with the talented team at Contra to build out this critical platform for freelance workers everywhere.

Congratulations to Ben, Gajus, and the entire Contra team. Onward!


Sarah, on behalf of Team Unusual

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