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Today, we’re thrilled to announce that dumpling has raised a $6.5 million Series A funding round, led by Forerunner Ventures.

With this funding, we’re improving the tools, technology, and business support we provide to thousands of local shopping and delivery businesses. We’re expanding our reach to help even more individuals transition to self-employment by removing the complexity, overhead, and friction from starting a business. We’re investing in features that enable business owners to provide more personal, meaningful, and ongoing relationships with their clients. …

In the midst of this historic movement to end systemic racism, hate, and police brutality against Black people in our country — we are all asking ourselves what we can do to join and support this important fight.

Speaking up and making our individual and collective voices heard is something we all must do.

We can also put our dollars to work by supporting Black-owned businesses, here and now. We’ve received numerous requests for a list of these businesses, which has also been echoed with a growing trend of web searches looking for the same in cities nationwide.

To this end, we’ve curated a list of Black-owned personal shopping businesses on the dumpling platform. All business owners on this list have opted-in to have their business shared. …

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At dumpling, everything is personal. We are committed to empowering people in an industry where humans — not machines or algorithms — are best equipped to do the job. We believe that when empowered people have the right tools, the customer wins. We built a platform for individuals to run their own personal grocery delivery businesses, enabling them to deliver the most customized and personalized service for their customers.

Why make it personal? Over the years, it’s become clear to us that the gig economy has been built at the expense of — not for — millions of independent contractors, who need to relentlessly hustle to meet the demands of smartphones and computer algorithms. It’s a system that encourages anonymity, turning humans into numbers, and removing the ability for them to make real-time decisions on behalf of their customers. …

The beginnings of dumpling started with our original focus on building a community for workers to share their voice and promote positive change at their workplace. The voices of thousands of independent contractors in the Gig Economy quickly jumped out and grabbed our attention.

While on-demand apps like Instacart and Uber have quickly grown in popularity and success, the experience and day to day realities of the workers that make these apps and services so successful is quite the opposite.

Many of the independent contractors that we talked to loved their jobs but absolutely hated the way they were being treated by the on-demand apps they worked for. Many were considering starting their own businesses to allow them to keep doing the type of work they love and to also get out from the horrible working conditions that they were experiencing. …


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