My New Gig

Gig Work: The Future?

It’s 2030 and your neighbor just bought the new Malibu smart boat. Their unusual working hours and consistent days off leave you suspicious as to how they can afford their lifestyle. Oil tycoon family? Crypto Guru?

Turns out they drive for uber with some graphic design on the side.

While that hypothetical may be an exaggeration, the gig economy has experienced significant growth in recent years. An estimated 57.3 million people in the US participated in gig work before the pandemic and this number is expected to rise to 76.4 million by 2024. With the threat of AI on the horizon and an increasingly shared economy, there is no denying that gig work is here to stay.

However, it’s not all sunshine and 3-day weekends. As more people turn away from their 9-5’s for flexibility and income, they face unique financial challenges due to the irregularity of their earnings. This income volatility can make it difficult for gig workers to properly prepare for down periods and stay on top of their bills. This often leads to taking out unexpectedly high interest loans.

SteadyPay’s Solution

SteadyPay is a London based fintech startup founded in 2017 by John Downie and Victor Pawley, aiming to improve the financial wellness of gig economy workers.

The company offers a subscription-based app that monitors users' incomes and provides top-ups during periods of lower earnings, which are then repaid when the user's income increases. For the price of a coffee per week, SteadyPay offers fixed loans calculated by daily or hourly income. The 7-pound subscription (which is paid all 52 weeks a year) is their main revenue driver, meaning the loans are provided at low or no interest, depending on the credit agreement.

SteadyPay acts as a one-stop-shop for gig employees, with credit plans, bill trackers, and access to financial advice. The friendly UI makes SteadyPay a more tantalizing option than taking out a traditional loan and tracking spending across multiple platforms.

This innovative solution helps gig workers maintain a consistent income, better manage their finances, and avoid the need for high-interest loans during periods of financial instability.

Testing The Waters

While the company is based in London, they are available almost globally. The gig economy is a rapidly growing market, with millions of workers participating in various forms of gig work. In the US alone, 57 million gig workers contributed around $1.21 trillion to the economy in 2020, which is roughly 5.7% of the total US GDP

Neo banks like Oyster Financial, Chime, etc., offer alternative ways to get loans, take out credit cards, or open savings accounts that may appeal to gig workers. Companies like Dave also offer low interest cash advances, but limit these to 500$. SteadyPay's unique focus on gig workers sets it apart from its competitors.

To capitalize on their competitive advantages, SteadyPay must invest resources into brand recognition, especially in high-potential secondary markets like the United States. The company may also consider targeting other types of volatile employment, such as tourism industries, which could greatly benefit from their service.

Thus Far

SteadyPay has raised a total of $12.79 million in funding over six rounds, with its latest funding round being a Series A - II for $3 million on March 6, 2023. SteadyPay's investors include Ascension Ventures, Hambro Perks, Digital Horizon, the UK government's Future Fund, and several undisclosed angel investors, as well as celebrity investors like Los Angeles’s own Shaquille O’Neil.

The award-winning company has taken home prizes at Tech Nation, Inclusive Fintech 50, Innovative UK, and more.

With an experienced founding team, awards and accolades to match, and a market fit most startups dream of, it is hard to imagine SteadyPay does not disrupt fintech as we know it.