Founded in 2008, Thumbtack achieved unicorn status by matching professionals like tutors and painters to locals in need of their services. Recently, the company announced a pilot partnership with Alia, a portable-benefits app, to help these gig workers access benefits like paid time off.
This initiative is interesting as it first provides a much needed subsidy to on demand workers whilst also offering traditional life/health insurance to an often under-insured segment of the economy.
The platform works by allowing house cleaners to purchase benefits-in-kind such as paid time off that have been difficult for part time workers to obtain before. The solution was developed by the innovation lab of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group, with funding from Google and direct input from domestic workers on their needs. The employers can set up a monthly contribution for their cleaners, which can then be redeemed for paid time off and, in some states also offers life, disability, accident, or critical illness insurance.