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Passionfruit raises £3.6m to make freelancing ‘viable for the masses’

Passionfruit seed

Freelance platform Passionfruit has closed $4.3m (£3.6m) in a seed funding round co-led by Firstminute Capital and Playfair Capital.

Passionfruit connects freelancers with startups based on their skills and interests. The platform provides freelancers with financial tools, mentorship and the opportunity to upskill.

“Gen Z will represent 27% of the global workforce by 2025 and it has been so inspiring to see our specialists as they say goodbye to the Victorian-age structure of the 9-5 and begin a new life working on their own terms,” said Raffi Salama, co-founder, Passionfruit.

Salama and Issah Abdul-Moomin came up with the idea for Passionfruit after meeting on a fellowship programme.

Finding new clients, admin and learning accounts for 45% of freelancers’ time, according to Passionfruit.

Passionfruit will use the seed capital to offer more services and gain new customers for its freelance platform. It is headquartered in London and has an office in Lisbon, Portugal. It currently operates across the UK, EU and the US.

“To date, freelancing has been the preserve of a select group of people that have access to work through private offline networks. We are here to make it viable for the masses,” said Issah Abdul-Moomin, co-founder, Passionfruit.

“Of course we’re not saying that nobody will ever work full-time again, simply that there are tens of millions of young people that would prefer to run their professional lives differently,” added Abdul-Moomin.

The seed round also saw participation from the likes of FJ Labs, Portfolio Ventures alongside angels from Stripe, Airbnb and Workday.

This follows on from the company’s $700,000 (£581,000) pre-seed round, also led by Playfair, in December last year.

Adriana Vitagliano, senior associate, Firstminute Capital said: “As we look to the coming decades, corporate monogamy will no longer exist in the same way and we’re excited to see how the right platform can completely reshape the freelance economy experience.”

The funding is the latest bet by investors on tools for freelancers. Last month, freelance software developer platform Distributed raised £8m in a follow-on round.