The number of freelancers and self-employed people has boomed in the past decade, and there are now more than 57 million freelance workers in the US alone. The segment is growing at 8 percent per year — roughly 3 times faster than the rest of the US workforce. According to a survey by Freelancer’s Union, by 2027, more than half of the American workforce is expected to freelance in some capacity as economic, demographic, and technological changes continue to shift society toward an uncharted future of work.

The ability to work independently and remotely is becoming universally accessible as technology improves connectivity and efficiency. With such rapid progress in the movement away from typical employment, the freelancing population must confront a host of unique financial challenges. From managing irregular incomes to filling the void of employer benefits, freelancers face an uphill battle. It doesn’t help that most banking and business management tools are too expensive for them and not specifically designed for their needs. It’s time for these financial tools fully catch up to this new era of working habits.

Joust, Accion Venture Lab’s latest investment, aims to solve this problem by offering freelancers targeted financial products that help manage and smooth their unconventional cash flows. Specifically tailored to this underserved segment, Joust’s products and relevant financial tools are bundled into one, all-digital solution. By giving freelancers the means to deal with uneven cashflows and meet monthly expenses without dipping into personal savings, relying on credit cards, or selling assets, Joust hopes to lend Americans a hand as they tackle the ever-changing workplace environment.

At Venture Lab, we’re excited about a few core differentiators that position Joust to improve financial health for freelancers across the United States:

We’re excited to partner with the Joust team to bring freelancers the financial services they need. As jobs continue to shift away from traditional, full-time employment to a gig economy, the number of individuals who need help with uneven cash flows, business management, and inexpensive insurance will only continue to grow. We believe Joust’s sophisticated and affordable product suite is up to the challenge, and we’re proud to support Joust on its journey to tackle one of the United States’ most pressing financial inclusion challenges.