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Mozilla Ventures makes first UK investment with Rodeo

Rodeo app
Image credit: SFIO CRACHO via Shutterstock

Mozilla Ventures, the recently launched investment arm of the company behind the Firefox web browser, has made its first UK investment with the gig economy worker app Rodeo.

London-headquartered Rodeo lets workers access and control their data, providing insights like earnings over time and pay rates across different gig platforms.

App users can also chat with fellow gig workers and swap valuable information and tips. Rodeo is used by more than 10,000 delivery drivers working for companies like Uber Eats and Just Eat.

The new and undisclosed investment follows Rodeo’s £4m raise announced last month, which had participation from LocalGlobe, Seedcamp and From Ventures.

Alfie Pearce-Higgins, co-founder of Rodeo, said: “Mozilla has always fought for interoperability and user agency. That’s why we are excited to work with Mozilla Ventures as we continue to empower gig workers and ensure their rights of data access and portability as enshrined in GDPR.”

The funding will help expand Rodeo’s tech team and defend users’ legal rights to access and portability of their data – two mechanisms Mozilla Ventures says are vital for earning a living in the gig economy.

Mohamed Nanabhay, managing partner of Mozilla Ventures, added: “Mozilla Ventures’ mission is to fuel companies pushing the tech industry in a better direction – companies that respect users and that empower them with their data. Rodeo exemplifies these principles.”

Gig work is a rapidly-growing sector, with an estimated 4.4m gig workers in the UK. While gig work platforms have played a crucial role in unlocking economic opportunity, they have also come under fire for exploitative behaviour.

In March, takeaway app Deliveroo was accused of restricting its couriers’ access to greater earnings by blocking Rodeo.

Mozilla Ventures launched earlier this year and has committed $35m in anchor funding. It plans to invest in early-stage startups operating in areas including “privacy, inclusion, transparency, accessibility, and human dignity”.