With more Americans running one-person businesses than ever before, Silicon Valley is paying attention. The latest sign is the launch of Collective, a provider of back-office services for freelancers.
Collective, which launched yesterday, offers an online management dashboard providing one-stop access to banking information and third-party software like Gusto and QuickBooks; assistance with S Corp. formation, accounting, bookkeeping and tax services; and access to advisors and its entrepreneurial community.
Members pay monthly for the services, with fees starting at $199 per month. Many freelancers already use these types of services, but they generally purchase them from separate providers.
Hooman Radfar, CEO and co-founder, says Collective is a response to the “Passion Economy,” where many people are rethinking how they earn a living and gravitating toward independent work that gives them freedom, independence and work/life balance. It’s a trend, championed by early pioneers like Tim Ferriss, that’s been accelerated by the remote lifestyles the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in and that is increasingly popular among Generation Z.
In 2018 there were 28.5 million nonemployer firms—those with no payroll—in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. They were generally made up of solo entrepreneurs but sometimes business partners or teams of co-founders. They made up the majority of the 30.2 million small businesses in the country.
“We’re seeing a huge shift in the future of work,” says Radfar. “For us, it’s about supporting that movement and finding an easy solution.”
Radfar previously co-founded and served as CEO of AddThis, which was acquired by Oracle, and is a venture partner at startup studio Expa. He was also an early investor in Uber,