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January 28, 2021

Opportunities Abound

Our team is excited to unveil today what we’ve been working on, why we know it matters, and how you can join us to make Americans more independent.

Abound (means “to exist in abundance”) helps the best businesses in the Independent Economy win with new financial features that increase retention, revenue, and compliance.

68 million self-employed Americans face financial shocks that come with working without a safety net.

Unlike traditional (W-2) employees who have access to benefits through their employer, self-employed (1099) individuals must source their own tax compliance, health insurance, and retirement plans.

You know this already, right?

What may be new news is that the way businesses approach handling tax, benefits, and compliance for independent workers is changing, because independent workers want an employee-like experience.

The headlines, the activism, and even recent legislation show that new terms for Independent Economy are coming, if not already here.

The old rules pit businesses and workers against each other and expect workers to choose between flexibility and security. We ask: why can’t they have both?

Abound’s mission is to improve financial security, wealth, and wellness for millions of self-employed Americans, ultimately making them more independent and free to choose their own path on their own terms.

We’ll achieve this by helping the best businesses in the Independent Economy win by making it easy to:

  • Offer benefits to independent workers in a compliant way
  • Build autonomous finance features that protect independent workers

Abound is not a charity, nor a bank. Abound is a new API that makes the opportunity to improve financial security for 1099ers a business driver.

Although the Independent Economy is as diverse as its 68 million Americans, we see an immense opportunity today to help increase retention, revenue, and compliance across four distinct segments:

  • Gig Economy
  • Creators and the Passion Economy
  • Consultants and Professionals
  • Microbusiness Owners

The apps that pay or serve these workers can now easily add must-have features that may have been often requested but difficult to scope, let alone design and deliver.

The conversations we have had with countless businesses and those they serve helped us understand why no one has made it easy to embed benefits before. Drawing on these discoveries, we’re ready to support bold partners that don’t just see adding benefits features as a moral imperative, but as a business imperative, too.

The businesses that will win in the independent economy are those that make it easier to be financially secure.

Abound is the only API to be:

  • Compliant for the business (avoiding statutory employment risk)
  • Easy to implement for the developer (versus building it from scratch)
  • Tax-optimized for the worker (so they keep more of what they earned)

Helping the best businesses in the Independent Economy win by making their workers more financially secure is a big undertaking — and we’re not going to be able to do it alone.

Our approach is open and focused on creating interoperability between the apps that serve workers and the benefits infrastructure required to support them. We will only build where there is not already a sufficient provider matching the needs of the market. Abound makes it much easier for customers to weave the various components together in a compliant way.

Our first two collaborations are great examples of how we can help our customers win faster, easier, and more affordably when we work together.

  • The accounts at Unit, a banking-as-a-service platform, are “smarter” than others out there because their customers can activate a plugin we’ve created together, letting the developer avoid extra work.
  • Abound is the first data enrichment provider available on the Plaid Exchange, enabling Plaid’s customers to create new functionality around benefits for 1099 workers.

There is so much more on the way, and for the work ahead we’re proud to call the team at Point72 Ventures our partners.

Joining our amazing investors before them, Point72 Ventures sees the opportunity to reshape the new way of work so that it benefits everyone. We’re in this not just to help independent workers survive — as we scale our capabilities and reach, we’ll help them thrive. Point72 Ventures brings a deep bench of industry experts and thought leaders. This includes Marqeta’s former Chief Product Officer, Dave Matter, who is joining Abound’s board of directors and brings first-hand experience building a financial infrastructure API.

As a founder, I can say it’s a deeply reassuring feeling when a savvy investor sees the same opportunity you do and bets that your business is the one in its space that will change the world. Having the right approach is important, but a close second to having the right team in place to discover, design, deliver, and delight. Our entire team, both employees and investors, have my deepest gratitude for all that each one of them brings every day to building the future that independent workers want to work in.

Stay independent,

Trent Bigelow

Cofounder & CEO, Abound


Trent Bigelow
CEO, Abound

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