Why We’re Building Level
America’s economy has experienced a seismic shift over the past decade, as early labor marketplaces ranging from Uber to TaskRabbit to Dolly proved the potential for a wide-ranging, on-demand economy to flourish. The internet has put individuals in the driver’s seat, giving people control of how and where they work, severing the ties with benefits that historically lasted a lifetime as part of “traditional” employment relationships.
Over the past year, COVID has accelerated this shift, with a surge in both supply of workers and interest in on-demand services. Today, one-in-three Americans are active in the on-demand economy, where financial benefits are rarely available.
From how we move goods to how we build our homes, these companies are reshaping the economy and serve as an incubation ground for micro-entrepreneurs. However, the ~60 million people creating businesses through labor marketplaces and on-demand platforms are treated as consumers by financial services providers — not the very small businesses they are — severely limiting their ability to build thriving businesses.
The Level Imperative
Level empowers people to build and grow micro-businesses with the portable financial benefits they need to prosper. Designed for micro-entrepreneurs who are building businesses on the rails of our labor marketplace partners, Level is the financial services platform which will power our growing on-demand economy.
Both our customers and our labor marketplace partners benefit. Level aims to increase the size of the pie, powering micro-business growth while delivering economic benefits to labor marketplaces, with more consistent, better prepared and higher-earning contractors.
The Level Solution
With underlying rails in place and years of performance data, an opportunity exists today to underwrite micro-entrepreneurs based on their performance, not their credit scores, thereby putting appropriate and necessary financial benefits within reach.
Our first product, the Level Advance, delivers flexible, fair and transparent credit via revenue share, giving micro-entrepreneurs the opportunity to invest in productive assets, access working capital and grow their businesses.
For example, Edgar, a Helper on Dolly in Chicago, could not tap into the credit he needed to expand beyond his pick-up truck. With a Level Advance, he purchased a trailer and then a box truck, more than doubling his income on Dolly over six months.
As we deepen our partnerships, we will extend a range of embedded financial services designed around specific needs of this fast-growing small business segment.
Our Exciting Path Ahead
Buoyed by market tailwinds, we have assembled the key ingredients necessary for Level to thrive: an experienced team of financial services operators, partnerships with leading companies in on-demand home services and on-demand transportation and a dynamic group of engaged and supportive investors. And we are solidly anchored in our customer-centric core values:
- Build Trust: We will earn your trust through transparency, clear policies, and no surprises.
- Be an Owner: You are building a business alongside us; we know this is a shared journey.
- Be Courageous: We aren’t afraid to ask or answer hard questions and take on entrenched norms.
- Be Humble: We listen. We seek different perspectives. We admit our mistakes.
- Be Fair: We infuse our data-driven decisions with a civic duty to be just.
We are thrilled about our journey ahead, and invite you to learn more on our website and follow us on Twitter. We are also seeking outstanding people to join our team and partners who would like to benefit from Level.
We are on a mission to redefine and deliver the portable financial benefits needed in the on-demand economy — empowering people to build and grow micro-businesses and putting micro-entrepreneurs in charge of how they work.
Neither the need nor the opportunity have ever been greater. We hope you will join us on this journey!
David Edelstein is the CEO and Co-Founder of Level