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. And we’re continuing to build technology that helps them scale their operations — because we measure our success by their success.
Our ultimate goal is simple: We want to make dumpling the trusted partner that helps anyone launch, run, and grow their own service-based business. And we want to help those business owners build financial stability and wealth for the long term.
From the beginning, we’ve sought to build a company that empowers individuals, boosts local economies, and helps usher in the future we think is possible. It’s been imperative to find investors that share these values. Forerunner takes this same people-centered approach and has a long history of identifying and supporting companies innovating at the cusp of dramatic behavior shifts.
Forerunner partner Brian O’Malley shares our commitment to prioritizing business ownership and putting broken gig economy models in the rear view.
“Even after billions of dollars in investment, gig app companies still can’t create a consistent experience for consumers,” says O’Malley. “The issue is that too much effort is spent automating people out of the process versus empowering individuals in the field to offer more personal and consistent experiences. Dumpling flips the model on its head, taking the exploited workers and enabling them to launch their own digitally native service business. At a time when unemployment is at record highs, we’re proud to support dumpling’s mission of getting people back working for the best boss around… themselves.”
Who we partner with matters to us, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Forerunner join our mission alongside current investors, Floodgate and FUEL Capital. Each of our partners sees the opportunity inherent in empowering workers to become truly independent business owners.
We’re in a unique moment, and the demand for our tools has never been greater. In addition to prompting more than 43.5 million people to file for unemployment, the COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the deep problems within existing gig economy models. An unprecedented urgency has emerged for those looking to work for themselves. In the past three months, we’ve seen a flood of new business owners set up shop using dumpling’s technology. Some came from traditional employers and others decided to leave the broken gig models behind to start their own businesses. Together, these groups have generated an incredible 20x surge in order volume from clients looking for a safer, more ethical way to get groceries while supporting local small businesses.
To date, we’ve helped launch more than 2000 small businesses serving their local communities across 50 states. That’s two thousand individuals who now have total control, autonomy, and flexibility over how they work. And we’re just getting started.
Nate, Tom, & Joel