Huddle’s $3.4M seed by Wave Capital, IDEO and Outlander
Remote life has made us rethink what we spend time working on. The result is that more are pursuing entrepreneurial and independent routes — taking on side projects, leaving full-time jobs to work flexibly, and looking for ways to get more ownership and upside.
When we launched Huddle in late 2020, Mike and I set out to build the thing we both wished existed: a club to join instead of a company. A co-working space in the cloud that felt homey and communal, but also allowed the flexibility of choosing your own destiny and where you invest your time.
We’re excited to announce Huddle’s $3.4 million in seed funding from Wave Capital, IDEO and Outlander. We’re building a platform designed for creatives and builders to team up on startup projects for cash and equity.
Huddle combines the consistency of a W-2 gig with the benefits of an independent lifestyle. It’s a home base where people can work on the things they love, with the people they love, while earning a piece of what’s created.
Originally a Slack group of our friends and close collaborators, Huddle has grown into a social network-marketplace hybrid used by startups and freelancers around the world. We’ve yet to pay for marketing and are growing based on word of mouth among collaborators. Our platform has a running beta with over 500 members and a waitlist of over 2,500 people. Throughout 2021, we saw organic user growth of 60% month over month and — a milestone we’re especially proud of — members have collectively earned over $1M on Huddle.
To join the platform, you need to be invited by a friend who wants to collaborate with you. Once you get onto the network, you’ll find a steady stream of “Huddles”, or teams, looking for more members to hop in and contribute. Today, Huddles can only be posted by vetted startups to keep the quality of projects on the platform high.
Our community currently serves two kinds of product and design experts:
- Those with a full-time gig, but exploring impactful side projects and leveraging their expertise as advisors.
- Those pursuing a fully-independent, nomadic lifestyle looking to Huddle for consistent work and community.
We are not a freelance marketplace — Huddle isn’t about bidding out hours against other members. We’re a community of experts that team up to work together on projects and earn ownership in the process.
In general, we talk less about individual hours or rates and talk more about contribution. A member who helps bring a project into the community gets paid for that. A team comes together usually by one member pulling in a web of collaborators and they get attributed for playing that role too. It doesn’t feel or act like a traditional one-to-one, web2 marketplace.
Here’s how Huddle actually works:
- When an approved customer comes in, they tell the community what they need — a new brand, a mobile app, a couple great product designers, whatever it is.
- Lead members of the community can latch on first, help them scope it further and pull more members in as needed.
- Huddle facilitates easy ongoing transactions between customer and team, whether it’s cash, equity, or crypto. In 2021, 14% of all projects on Huddle were paid in equity or crypto. 💸
When raising our seed, we opted for a very Huddle-y approach. In addition to being backed by Wave Capital, IDEO, Paige and Leura Craig’s Outlander, Nomad Capital, Miami Angels, The Council, and Gaingels, we brought on builder-angel hybrids such as Joe Zadeh, previous Head of Experiences and VP of Product at Airbnb, and Amber Illig, previous Ops and GTM lead at Snap and Cruise. We also raised a “community seed round”, where 750 unaccredited creators from our community and beyond invested via Republic.
We plan to use the funds to expand our platform and serve more members and customers. We’re also incredibly excited to build paths to more ownership and investment opportunities for our community.
This takes us a step closer to creating a world where the most ambitious and talented people spend their time working on big problems instead of big companies.
We’re here to give more people the space and place to be their most creative and entrepreneurial selves.
– Steph, Mike and the growing Huddle fam 🌱
→ Apply here to join the Huddle community as a contributor or lead member.
→ Sign up here to get a pop-up team from the badass Huddle community to help design or build your next thing.
Follow @stephgolik or @withhuddle on Twitter for updates. DM me to get an invite code if you don’t know an existing member.