Originally posted on Adweek by Emmy Liederman, December 21, 2021.
We Are Rosie, the flexible talent platform that brings together Fortune 500 brands and independent marketers, is no longer financially bootstrapped. The growth investment from Align Capital Partners brings the company to a value of $110 million, and founder and CEO Stephanie Nadi Olson will retain significant stake in the platform.
We Are Rosie, which saw 556% growth in the last year, has grown its network of freelancers to 10,000 and now works with more than 25 Fortune 500 brands and six major advertising holding companies. This year, the platform booked 1,200 projects through its network.
Values and a vision
According to ACP managing partner Rob Langley, the company invested in We Are Rosie due to its alignment with the platform’s vision to bolster underrepresented talent and create more diverse workplaces.
“Align partnered with We Are Rosie because we wholeheartedly believe in their vision and unique value proposition,” he said in a statement.
Adweek sat down with Nadi Olson to discuss this business move and what it means for the future of her platform.
How will this investment from ACP help We Are Rosie continue to drive its mission?
At this point in our growth, we’ve really done the hard work in building the category of a flexible career platform and what it means for the industry. With additional investment, we’re going to be able to get more people on board. We’re going to be able to blow up our technology build as well as increase the services and value that we’re able to provide to the 10,000 Rosies who are a part of our community.
How does We Are Rosie support its talent? What resources does talent traditionally lack in the freelance space?
We pay our Rosies weekly, which is a really big deal because so many freelancers fall victim to what I refer to as wage theft, where they’re not paid for 60 or 90 days, which I think is appalling. We also offer them continued educational services and have created The Garden, which is a home for all of our Rosies to congregate and have that true sense of community. Being freelance or independent can often be really lonely, so we’ve rolled out a Slack channel for Rosies and a full platform where our Rosies can congregate and create custom groups of people with similar experiences and passions. It’s a place where they can really have that sense of camaraderie and community and build relationships with other people who are embarking on an independent career.
What strides have you made in the past year?
We’ve tripled our revenue in the past year after doubling it in 2020, and we’ve tripled the size of our team after doubling it in 2020. We had such substantial growth during Covid, and I’m just really proud of the work that this team has done, but also that we’ve been able to maintain the dignity and humanity that’s so important and part of our core values as a business.
What are you most proud of?
We’ve been able to show that you can grow like a rocket ship while also taking really good care of the people who are doing the work. That’s my proudest accomplishment. The growth is phenomenal and we always want to put more Rosies to work, but to be able to take the best possible care of the We Are Rosie team that is creating all of this opportunity for everybody is a really big deal for me.
I’m also really proud that we continue to put a really diverse group of partners on projects for our clients. Again this year, over 40% of the people we’ve put to work have been Black or [otherwise self-identified] people of color. That’s a huge testament to the care that we take in making sure we’re matching people to the right opportunities and not upholding bias-filled systems of connecting people to work.
What are some of your goals?
At the end of the day, we want to create value for all 10,000 people on our platform. As we look to the future, there are a couple things that are really important for us. One of them is really expanding our training offering so that we can begin to take Rosies who may have a less in-demand skill set, and through our technology and matching identify that they may be a good fit to learn a skill that’s in really high demand.