By Riley Kaminer
Getting work from traditional gig platforms is not always the right option for startups. It is hard to know exactly the quality of a freelancer’s work before they deliver, and too often than not the quality leaves something to be desired.
What’s more, many startups are looking for a partner – someone that has a vested interest in the company’s success – but are unable to onboard a full-time employee.
Enter Miami startup Huddle. The company has devised a two-sided marketplace connecting top talent with some of the most exciting startups out there. Crucially, Huddle’s team vets each and every freelancer and startup before they are accepted onto the platform.
Another key difference between Huddle and other platforms is that it allows freelancers to take equity in their client’s business in exchange for work completed. (This is in addition to traditional payments, or accepting a mix of equity and cash.) So far, Huddle members have earned $1.2 million in cash and $55,000 in equity.
For co-founder Stephanie Golik, a South Miami native, this unique value proposition makes Huddle particularly well positioned to help both startup and talent navigate these uncertain economic times.
“We really support people that are going independent and trying to find a more resilient way to make money,” Golik told Refresh Miami. “On the startup side of huddle, we are definitely seeing a trend of more founders being really intentional about their full time hires and engaging much more in flexible, alternative ways of staffing up.
“But they’re not willing to sacrifice on quality when it comes to getting projects done. And so huddle provides like that perfect alternative because it’s amazing talent and it spins up super quickly.”
Despite these very tangible benefits, Huddle is about more than simply facilitating economic transactions. The startup aims to foster a community around its stakeholders. In 2022, it hosted 10 major in-person events globally, on top of a constellation of smaller events and a thriving online community.
Golik said that while Huddle’s community lead takes the charge on most of these events, some of the meetups were spearheaded by people she calls “Super Huddlers,” or major advocates of the platform. As of the end of 2022, there were 710 community members.
So far, 399 startups have applied to be part of Huddle’s platform. There have been 89 huddles, or requests for projects to be completed. The team currently comprises 12 full-time employees, two of whom are in South Florida.
Looking forward, Golik and co-founder Michael Saloio are excited to double down on the company’s growth. “Customers that use Huddle love it,” she said, noting that they have grown entirely without a cent of paid advertising. To fuel this growth, Golik said that Huddle plans to continue refining its product while also creating more community-focused initiatives. While the company has raised $3.4 million thus far, Golik signaled that the company will likely raise again this year.
Are you a startup looking for top talent? Check out Huddle’s two-sided marketplace.
PHOTO AT TOP OF POST: Huddle co-founders Stephanie Golik and Michael Saloio. Photo by Neka Rae Photography
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