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Please welcome Trupo, a safety net for the gig economy

Meet Trupo, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: Brooklyn, NY

Founder: Sara Horowitz

The problem: Freelance workers make up a growing population of the workforce (one-third in total), but they don’t receive benefits such as paid time off or employer-provided health insurance offered through traditional employment. That leaves them vulnerable if they get sick or hurt and have to pause work.

Trupo’s solution: Trupo allows freelancers to contribute a monthly payment of as little as $20 in exchange for coverage when they need it most. When a freelancer becomes ill or too sick to work, Trupo pays out half that person’s earnings for seven weeks so he or she can recover without worrying about going broke.

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Origin story: After founding the Freelancers Union in 1995, Sara Horowitz has spent the last 20 years advocating for freelancers and helping them get access to traditional employment benefits. She created Trupo to address a critical pain point for gig workers and provide them a necessary financial safety net not currently offered by the government.

Why we’re betting on it: Trupo a great example of making an investment based mostly on the founder. When Sara came to us, there was no product or metrics. It was a vision to create a safety net for freelance workers. As the founder of the Freelancers Union, Sara truly understands this market inside and out. She has first-hand knowledge of the hardships freelancers face if they are unable to work. There was no insurance product specifically addressing their needs (even as the fastest growing segment of the workforce) until Trupo.

Our take: We believe the gig economy is only just beginning. The future of work is based around self-employed individuals, however the traditional insurance and benefit providers have not kept up to meet the needs of the growing population of 57 million. This growing gap gives Trupo the perfect opportunity to come in as the only solution specifically built with gig workers in mind.

Further reading: “This Entrepreneur Is Teaming Up With Silicon Valley Royalty to Bring Short-Term Disability Insurance to Gig Workers” via Inc

Written by

Lerer Hippeau is an early-stage venture capital fund based in New York City. As founders and operators ourselves, we see returns in relationships.

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