According to a recent report from Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), a global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, an estimated 48 million people took on gig work in the US in 2017, with 31% of all US workers performing gig/contingent work in 2017. Total spending on gig work in the US was $864 billion, while total global gig economy spending hit an estimated $3.7 trillion.
“The gig economy continues to grow globally, impacting and advancing how work is being facilitated across industries, professions, skillsets and geographies,” said Barry Asin, President of SIA. “As the US gig economy also continues to grow, platform development and increased awareness and adoption from stakeholders, especially in the human cloud segment of the gig economy, is driving innovation and access to talent. Key players in the workforce solutions ecosystem are exploring exciting new ways to meet the demands of the gig economy and the global talent marketplace.”
With nearly a third of all US workers participating, it is an almost irresistible market opportunity for any company that can effectively synthesize the valuable data generated by these contingent workers into a usable format that can be used to promote everything from health insurance to credit cards to holiday travel.
But no one has really figured out how to do this, or at least do it well, until now.
Argyle is an infrastructure-as-a-service company that makes workforce data (everything from UBER to Fiverr) accessible through a single API. Insurance providers, lenders, credit card issuers, and applicant tracking systems use Argyle to unlock the power of workforce data.
Argyle recently announced a new partnership with Alchemy Technology, a lending services company to work together to build new and unique FinTech verticals to serve non-traditional and gig economy based FinTech lenders.
We had a chance to interview the founders of Argyle: Shmulik Fishman, Chief Executive Officer; Audrius Zujus, Chief Technology Officer; and Chris Hansen, Chief Revenue Officer to learn a little more about the future of the “gig economy” and how Argyle is trying to reshape the $864 billion industry using big data and technology in much the same way that mint.com helps millions make sense of their scattered and increasingly complex personal finances.
What does Argyle do?
Argyle provides the infrastructure for businesses and end-users alike to access workforce data. Applications leveraging Argyle can allow their end-users to credential into their work accounts securely, providing source-based data for more efficient underwriting, monitoring, and a tailored user experience.
What problem does Argyle solve?
As work continues to become increasingly fragmented, the infrastructure to access products, services, and opportunities as a dynamic or ‘non-traditional’ worker is lacking. While platforms generate a wealth of valuable data that more accurately portray an end-user’s work identity, the data is not portable let alone formatted in a clean and consistent way for use by companies in insurance, lending, banking and more.
Who are your competitors? What makes Argyle unique?
We have three sets of competitors, the first being our customers themselves. Many businesses see the value in allowing their end-users to plug in their accounts and create one-off integrations. The issue for them becomes trying to scale these efforts across multiple data partners while the amount of data sources and workforce platforms continues to grow exponentially. Argyle’s sole mission is to play in the infrastructure space allowing customers to spend more time focusing on offering great products and services and less time (and overhead) managing data partners.
The second competitive set includes API providers in the finance space. While aggregators such as Tink, Plaid, and Yodlee have paved the way providing infrastructure tools to access financial data, we believe there is an even larger opportunity to gain more granular insights by allowing end-users to plug-in their workforce platforms — bearing not only financial insights such as income earned before payout transfer but a holistic view of a worker’s identity including typical hours, work trajectory, reputation and more.
Argyle’s last group of competitors include legacy players in the verification space such as Equifax’s The Work Number and a more recent competitor TrueWork. While these companies are more focused on traditional work, they provide methods of identity and employment verification for a similar set of customer verticals. Argyle is unique in that our data is both source-based and credentialed by our end user. The fabric of the Argyle Data Network differentiates us.