In many countries, the gig economy remains largely informal and workers take a salary outside the formal banking system. Reading a 2016 report prepared by McKinsey on the Global Independent Workforce also known as the Gig Economy, Craig J. Lewis noticed that no one was servicing the firms that pay these workers.
He, therefore, set out to design a payroll system for the gig economy. He established Gig Wage not only to provide a platform that can be used to service the salaries of workers in the gig economy but to get everyone involved.
According to Bloomberg, the problem of under banking is urgent for Black people, who make up 35 percent of the statistic, against only 11 percent of White people.
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Founded in 2015, Wage Gig provides the technology and the tools businesses need to pay gig workers, freelancers or contractors in a fast, flexible, and modern way, Lewis tells Shoppe Black. “Also by having 1099 specific software helps with classification concerns,” he adds.
On its website, the Dallas-based company says “our technology enables the world’s innovators to instantly pay 1099 workers with more control, flexibility & scale.”
The company recently made headlines when it raised a $7.5 million Series A round to boost its platform. The funding raising was led by Green Dot Corp., a California-based financial technology and bank holding company.
The deal also goes beyond just investment as Green Dot will also serve as an infrastructure bank partner to Gig Wage to deliver modern banking solutions and better financial tools to the Gig Economy.
“The 1099 economy is exploding, and Gig Wage is thrilled to bring a truly comprehensive solution to market,” Lewis says in a statement on Medium. “As we laid the foundation to offer financial infrastructure for the ‘Future of Work,’ it was abundantly clear Green Dot was the best partner for us to help the most people.”
Despite the effect of COVID-19 on Black-led businesses, the positive news for Lewis is that the pandemic has seen his firm grow due to rising demand for its services.
“The Gig Economy was rapidly expanding and Gig Wage was growing really fast pre COVID but COVID19 has definitely been an accelerant. The increased need for delivery has been the main area of growth we’ve seen,” he says.
Lewis is an expert in the payroll space. He started as a salesman for ADP small business payroll products in 2008 before realizing his passion for payroll tech. After selling over $10 million in payroll-related software, he landed in Silicon Valley, where he got to know the fundamentals of starting a company.
“I was just awed how they thought about technology and products and company building,” Lewis was quoted by deBanked. “And I vowed to bring that to the payroll industry.”