With $18M in new funding, Braintrust says it’s creating a fairer model for freelancers


Braintrust, a network for freelance technical and design talent that launched over the summer, is announcing that it has raised $18 million in new funding.

Co-founder and CEO Adam Jackson has written for TechCrunch about how tech companies need to treat independent contractors with more empathy. He told me via email that the San Francisco-based startup is making that idea a reality by offering a very different approach than existing marketplaces for freelance work.

For one thing, Braintrust only charges the companies doing the hiring — freelancers won’t have to pay to join or to bid on a project, and Braintrust won’t charge a fee on their project payments. In addition, the startup is using a cryptocurrency token that it calls Btrust to reward users who build the network, for example by inviting new customers and vetting freelance. Apparently, the token will give users a stake in how the network evolves in the future.

“Just imagine if Uber had given all of it’s drivers some ownership in the company what a different company it would be today,” Jackson said. “Braintrust will be 100% user owned. Everyone who participates on the platform has skin in the game.”

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