Collective nabs $20M in Series A, Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures joins round

The startup, which provides a back-office platform for self-employed, also had notable investors participate including YouTube Founder Steve Chen, Substack Founder Hamish McKenzie, Twitch Founder Kevin Lin and others

Collective, which provides a back office platform for self-employed folks, has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round to bolster its technology and hire more employees.

General Catalyst led the round while Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s venture capital fund Sound Ventures also joined. The latest capital injection brings the company’s totaling funding to $28.65 million.

Collective also had some noteworthy investors participate including YouTube Founder Steve Chen, Substack Founder Hamish McKenzie, Twitch Founder Kevin Lin, former HoneyBook Founder Shadiah Sigala and others.

“We’re proud to be supporting a company that’s making it easier for creators to focus on what they do best by taking care of the back office work that creates so much friction for so many early entrepreneurs,” Ashton Kutcher, co-founder of Sound Ventures, said in a statement. “I would have loved something like this when I was getting started, so our team is excited to back this vision for all the future creators out there.”

San Francisco-based Collective has seen 8X growth since its seed funding while its revenue ballooned more than 250%. The company provides a member service platform and has a waitlist of more than 20,000 people.

Hooman Radfar, co-founder and CEO of Collective, told FinLedger that the startup currently has about 30 employees and by the year’s end expects to have about 60 or 70 employees, which would at least double its headcount.

Launched in September 2020, Collective provides financial services for the “business-of-one,” individuals that oversee accounting, tax, bookkeeping and other business needs. The self-employed market is not one to gloss over, 59 million or 36% of the workforce are considered self-employed in the U.S. And more often than not, administrative tasks take up a lot of time and energy, something Collective wants to help freelancers with by providing its online back office platform.

Radfar said he wants to democratize the back office services by providing this digital platform, enabling self-employed individuals to have more time to focus on their craft. Going forward, Radfar said he’s focusing on investing in the company’s team with this recent capital infusion and scaling more quickly.

“The market is so large, we just want to deliver on the promise that we have now and basically improve our experience to make it more integrated,” he said.

In other recent news, HoneyBook, a financial management and client experience platform for service-based small businesses and freelancers, has raised a $155 million Series D round. The San Francisco-based company’s funding round put the company at a valuation over $1 billion, HoneyBook CEO Oz Alon told FinLedger.

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