Summary List Placement
Silicon Valley Bank-backed startup Bolster, a Software as a Service (SaaS) talent acquisition and benchmarking platform, launched last week.
Bolster bills itself as a matchmaking service for startups in search of executive talent, executives looking for part-time gigs, and venture capital firms that need to flesh out management at portfolio companies. This matchmaking function might ordinarily be performed by a startup accelerator at the early stage, or by an executive search firm for a more mature startup.
The investment fits into the bank’s niche serving startups, founders, and venture capitalists. Bolster has a similar client base to Silicon Valley Bank: The latter offers an array of financial services to high-growth companies in the technology and life sciences sectors, serves venture capital and private equity firms, and has a private bank geared toward executives in those segments. Its holding company, SVB Financial, also invests directly in startups.
Bolster’s concept expands beyond the traditional concept of gig worker to include executive management. Gig economy archetypes include food delivery couriers, store clerks, and freelancers. Flexible hours, unpredictable cash flow, and unstable incomes can make financial stability difficult, and require banks to conduct thorough risk assessments to profitably service this segment of the economy.
Bolster monetizes and digitizes the search for and placement of part-time or interim executives, an under-the-radar portion of gig economy workers who, in general, are already financially stable and more likely to work for equity.
The bank’s investment could stage an immediate growth opportunity with its target customer base. Silicon Valley Bank’s Bolster investment is a triple play: Investing in a startup as part of the company’s venture funds, supporting the growth and diversity of the bank’s target markets, and—in a potential partnership with the platform—deepening its business relationships with startups and executives.
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Source:: Business Insider