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Michael Jordan Backs Gigster

August 30, 2017

Gigster, a smart software development service that combines top developers and designers with automation tools, has raised $20 million in Series B financing led by Redpoint Ventures with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator and Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures. Marc Benioff and Adam D'Angelo also participated in the round, as did basketball legend Michael Jordan. Gigster will use the funding to further expand its ability to serve enterprise and mid-market businesses. It will also support team growth, as the company plans to hire over 100 new employees over the next year, more than tripling the size of the core team.

"Nine out of 10 companies have trouble finding and hiring tech talent, but for forward-looking organizations it's about more than just filling headcount. It's about finding the best developers experienced in new technologies like machine learning, data science and voice interfaces," said Roger Dickey, co-founder and CEO of Gigster. "What differentiates Gigster is that you're not hiring freelancers, you're hiring an entire engineering department -- the best developers in the world with a project management layer that guarantees price and quality."

Gigster prides itself on hiring the top one percent of developers from universities such as MIT, Stanford and Caltech, and companies like Google, Facebook and Tesla. Gigster attracts highly-skilled talent by providing opportunities for them to work on cutting-edge projects with leading organizations. The company is committed to creating a competitive work environment for freelancers and offers innovative benefits like the Gigster Fund, which provides freelancers with bonuses based on Gigster client venture returns.

The company serves an increasing number of enterprise clients across verticals, including financial services (Fidelity, MasterCard, Square, U.S. Bank), travel and hospitality (Wyndham, OpenTable), manufacturing (Airbus) and consumer (PepsiCo). Gigster addresses everything from custom built software and product design to innovation consulting.

Redpoint Ventures partner Ryan Sarver, who is joining Gigster's board of directors, said, "The Gigster model works because it delivers value for both sides of the marketplace: enterprises who need world class software teams, and engineers who want to work independently and flexibly with access to interesting assignments, project supervisors and automation tools. By transforming the way top engineering talent is convened and deployed, Gigster is redefining the way companies think about managing IT projects and reimagining the future of work itself."

Ashton Kutcher, founding partner of Sound Ventures, said, "There's a need for strong software developers across nearly all industries today and that is exactly what Gigster is solving for. We are excited to support Roger and the team as they scale in the enterprise market."

Gigster is also adding a key executive in Lori Williams, vice president of fulfillment, to lead the high-quality delivery of projects, customer success and operations, as well as the Gigster freelance network. Williams has a proven track record of starting and leading international customer and services operations. Previously, she was a general manager at cloud services company Appirio, where she worked closely with enterprise leaders like Salesforce, Google and Workday as a member of the executive team in both the United States and Europe. She also played a key role in the integration efforts following Wipro's acquisition of the company for $500 million in 2016.

"After learning more about Gigster's vision for reinventing custom software development through their freelance network and predictive development platform, I couldn't wait to join the team," said Williams. "Gigster has an opportunity to fundamentally change the way custom software is delivered to customers and I'm looking forward to building out a scalable customer operation alongside a world-class network of freelancers to support it."

Gigster began as an on-demand software development platform, but has since expanded into a full-service project management platform for the enterprise. In addition to attracting the world's best talent, the company has developed a series of tools that use automation and artificial intelligence to make the traditionally complex process of software development more efficient and reliable. By using data to capture patterns, Gigster can more accurately identify issues and mitigate them before they impact project output and the delivery timeframe. These tools also enable Gigster to identify which developers are best suited for each job, leverage past development frameworks to guide new software projects, and estimate the time and cost of a project, which historically has been extremely difficult.

Gigster achieved key milestones over the last year, including:

•Grew year-over-year revenue by 250 percent

•Significantly increased enterprise adoption, with more than 40 of the world's largest companies as clients

•Increased project size by an average of 65 percent over the last four consecutive quarters, including several seven-figure deals in 2017

•Raised number of simultaneous active projects from 40 to 200 while reducing error rate and increasing client satisfaction

•Named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Business and IT Services in 2017

•Included on Forbes' 2016 list of the Next Billion-Dollar Startups

"Gigster is as much of a game-changer as I've seen in the app development industry," said Michael Keithley, chief information officer at United Talent Agency (UTA). "Their programmers are rockstars in the development of state-of-the-art apps and they work at an amazing speed. Simply put, they are one of the best development shops any CIO could work with."

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