02 March 2022 |
How Indie Workers Are Keeping Benefits
By Nicole Casperson
- Remote working months for the Catch teams 1:49
- The day Twitter blew up at a pregnant CEOl 3:07
- Wearing multiple hats as a CEO 7:07
- Not your average CEO background 10:02
- How companies traditionally view benefits 13:44
- What is Catch doing for solo workers? 17:13
- Effects of the pandemic on workers 31:28
- Tips for founders 35:43
- The future of Catch 46:14
How a Founder Went Viral and Changed The Face of Fintech
“I wish I could say it was totally strategic and that I had planned it out as this big moment. But I think like a lot of viral tweets, it was a little bit off the cuff.” – Kristen Anderson
When Kristen Anderson hit the go button on the image of her pregnant, in flip-flops and nailing a multi-million dollar investment, she had no idea the impact it was about to make on her life.
For the next few days and weeks, Kristen was inundated with messages. They were mostly supportive, though she attracted the inevitable trolls too, as thousands of users re-tweeted and liked her Twitter post and media outlets across the US clamored to meet the VC-backed CEO behind the photo.
Having weighed up the impact on her professional and personal life, Kristen believes that moment was, overall, a positive one. It allowed others, particularly women and those from under-represented communities in the fintech space, to see that: “A venture-backed CEO is not just a 25-year-old dude in a garage in Silicon Valley.”
Building For The Future, Not The Past
But Kristen is ready to move on and not allow that brief brush with fame to intrude any more than it needs to. She wants to talk about Catch.
If you don’t already know, this platform is a gamechanger for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs. It offers independent workers the chance to build their own benefits package online or through the app, by automating tax, savings, and healthcare payments. It helps you set up retirement investment portfolios and essentially acts as a kind of personal payroll and HR manager rolled into one.
Backed by initial Series A funding of $12m, Catch has flourished in the fintech space, partnering with Upwork, Patreon and spreading the message across the US.
All this from a founder who claims she has no idea how WiFi works.
But at work, Kristen is pure grit. A self-described “blue-collar kid from Reno”, her dad was a union man while mom mostly stayed home, before working as an office manager.
She said: “My parents didn’t go to college. I have broken into tech from basically an inability to be stopped. I was not really raised in this world. I was not taught to be in this world.”
But here she is and her inability to be stopped is what led her to the aha moment that founded Catch. A realization that the traditional benefits and pay infrastructure put in place by companies wasn’t fit for purpose for today’s workforce, many of whom are sourcing income from multiple streams.
“So, the aha moment was really saying: The next 50 to 75 years are going to look fundamentally different than the last 50 to 75 years. And we need to be able to provide financial infrastructure. Again, long-term planning and wealth building, protecting against emergency and insurance, particularly in the health space and saying, we need to bring those products into the way that people work now.”
The Future is Growth
How Catch delivers on its mission is every bit as important as the reason it exists in the first place. As Kristen says, if you were given a manual for your iPhone you’d think it was a terrible product but customized, actionable information shared in a logical and accessible way helps users build their accounts and integrations without feeling overwhelmed.
This sense of the personal is why Kristen feels so strongly that financial services, done well, can change the trajectory of a person’s life. It’s what drives her to connect with other founders, staying curious and focusing on Catch’s next steps. And those steps? In Kristen’s own words: Incredible growth, something I have every faith she will achieve.
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