Yepstr proves unique approach to gig economy with gigantic growth

After a few tumultuous years, Swedish startup Yepstr is finding its footing in Sweden’s gig economy — as the industry itself is under increased scrutiny. Yepstr is one of the first gig companies to fully employ the people who use its service to find work.

Yepstr matches young people with families and companies who need help with babysitting, gardening, tutoring, dog-minding and more.

“The question that started Yepstr is simple; why is it so hard to find help when there are so many young people who would love a side job,” Yepstr CEO Jacob Rudbäck said.

The app has now helped more than 10,000 young people between the ages 15 and 24 find work.

SCB, Sweden’s official statistics database, shows the unemployment rate for young people between the age of 15 and 24 has fallen slightly from the beginning of 2021 to 4 percent in the second quarter of 2022.

The company grew by nearly 600 percent from 2020 to 2021, and Rudbäck says while they don’t expect to see another 600 percent leap this year, Yepstr is continuing on an aggressive growth trajectory. The CEO says they had a turnover of SEK 2 million last month with just 1,000 paying customers.

“We are tweaking, perfecting and getting the last nuts and bolts in place before we begin our international expansion in 2024,” Rudbäck said. “But even in Sweden we have tremendous room to grow.”

The company expects to become Sweden’s largest babysitting company on a revenue level this year.

“We see it in the results and in the faces of these 10,000 kids we’ve helped”

Yepstr wasn’t always growing quickly. Then, at the beginning of 2021, the company hired everyone who was using the platform to work and began handling employer contributions, taxes, insurance pensions and more.

“That has been a tremendous success, we call it gig economy 2.0,” Rudbäck said. “But in reality, it’s just fair, it’s what everybody should be doing.”

Rudbäck says current legal frameworks and tax department requirements are written in a way that makes that reality nearly impossible and extremely complicated to achieve, but he says cracking the code has led to Yepstr’s significant growth.

“I know it serves as a signal for change because when companies see that this small ambitious startup from Sweden, which has some of the most complex labor legislation in the world,” Rudbäck said. “When they see that we are able to do this, then all the employees in the company are able to ask their management, ‘why can’t we do the same?’ So yeah, I’m hoping that we will see more daring companies take this path and challenge the status quo.”

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