Lystable gets $11M Series A to push its gig economy SaaS in the US

Ahoy there gig economy… Lystable, which makes a software tool focused on helping businesses manage freelancers, has closed an $11 million Series A round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Goldcrest Capital. Spring Partners also participated in the round.

The London-founded startup secured seed backing from Thiel’s fund and others, back in May 2015 — going on to raise a total of $3.5 million in for its seed. It was also a finalist in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015 in December.

The new funding will finance a big push to expand its operations in the US, with Lystable planning to relocate its headquarters from London to San Francisco, having reincorporated as a US company.

Co-founder Peter Johnston, who previously worked as a designer at Google, has said it’s been making less sense for Lystable to be headquartered in London, given its customers and investors are “predominantly” in the US.

Although it’s also not planning to abandon its founder city entirely, he said today.

“The funds will be used specifically to really expand our San Fran office and make it the HQ, Johnston tells TechCrunch. “Right now London is the main office and San Fran is a couple of people but we will grow it to 30 by the end of the year. London will hit 30 too.”

It will also be scaling up its sales and marketing personnel, as well as making some senior hires in product and engineering.

In terms of customers, Johnston says Lystable hit 60 enterprises this month, noting they are collectively managing more than 20,000 lysted freelancers and vendors — double where it was after walking off stage at TC Disrupt last December.

“Our biggest vertical is now media companies and ecommerce. i.e. MTV, Nickelodeon and the ASOS’s of the world,” he adds.

Other Lystable customers include Johnston’s former employer Google, plus The Economist, Airbnb and CNBC.

The startup notes an estimated 53 million people currently work as freelancers/contractors in the US — a figure that’s expected to rise rapidly over the next decade as the gig economy accelerates.

As part of Lystable’s Series A, James Fitzgerald of Valar Ventures and Leila Zegna of Spring Partners have joined its board of directors, with Adam Ross of Goldcrest Capital joining as a board observer.

Commenting on the funding in a statement, Fitzgerald added: “Legacy software is not equipped to deal with the growing freelancer economy. Lystable’s product solves a real pain point for enterprises who are managing an increasing number of freelancers and contractors. Their product is in another league compared with the incumbents.”