Today Cachet, the financial services marketplace for online platform workers, has closed €1.1 million seed round as it prepares to expand its service offering from ride-hailing platforms to urban mobility and vacation rental marketplaces and launch in new markets like Poland, the Nordics and the UK.
Founded in 2018 in Estonia, Cachet has been providing drivers of ride-hailing platforms with on-demand motor insurance that takes into account hours driven on platforms, rather than forcing part-time drivers to pay the full price of monthly insurance. The company achieves this by aggregating and enriching cross-market data from the platforms to provide a unique view into gig workers’ actual work patterns and enable insurance companies to sell better-priced and personalised coverage.
Today, Cachet is already used by drivers of ride-hailing platforms like Uber, Bolt and Yandex.Taxi on its existing markets in Estonia and Latvia, with the platforms trusting the data needed to provide insurance coverage with Cachet. Around 25% of all drivers on the platforms have signed up for insurance via Cachet. The company plans to use the new funding to expand its services across the Nordics as well as the UK and Poland. It’s also looking to add further services catering to the sharing economy like urban mobility and vacation rental marketplaces.
The seed round was led by Icebreaker.vc and includes previous pre-seed stage investors like Techstars (in a follow-on investment), Barclays and Lemonade Stand as well as angel investors like Chris Adelsbach (UKBAA Angel Investor of the Year 2018/19 and Founding Partner at Outrun Ventures who invested in Cachet in a personal capacity), Kartik Varma, (Managing Director at Techstars’ Barclays London Accelerator), Martin Cass (Director at Barclays Private Bank), and Richard Howard (Uber’s first employee in the UK). Cachet is a graduate of the London Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars.
Hedi Mardisoo, co-founder and CEO of Cachet commented: “The number of people working part-time or full-time for online platforms like Uber, Airbnb or Fiverr has more than doubled in the last three years. COVID-related economic slowdown is bound to accelerate it further. However, platform workers are currently underserved by financial services providers. This means that platform workers often have the choice of either buying expensive coverage or simply not working.
However, there are currently millions of people in Europe that depend on flexible income and would be able to take advantage of better-priced and personalised financial services. We’re excited to replicate the success of our first product in further areas of the sharing economy where insurance products are currently expensive or non-existent like urban mobility and vacation rental marketplaces.”
Riku Seppälä, General Partner at Icebreaker.vc explained: “Gig work has enabled better services for all of us and new ways to earn a living for many. The gig lifestyle is growing fast and is here to stay. Luckily, we have entrepreneurs such as Hedi and Kalle and their team who have the right experience to enable gig work to run smoothly. They created a product that works for all parties and makes life easier for gig workers. We’re excited to be part of their journey and will be working hard to help them realize the vision of enabling better work and flexible work arrangements through gig work.”
Chris Adelsbach, Founding Partner at Outrun Ventures who invested in Cachet in a personal capacity said: “Having seen the early success of Cachet and the strong team behind the product, I am confident in the company’s huge potential to solve a number of problems for the increasing amount of people joining in the gig economy. Cachet is part of a high growth vertical called ‘embedded finance’ and helps opens up a market to financial service providers that have been struggling to price services in this new, fast-growing part of the economy.”