This week St. Louis startup CrowdSource announced that it has raised $12.5 million in a series A round of funding led by Highland Capital Partners. CrowdSource has been operating since mid-2011 to help businesses complete tasks with workers remotely over an internet connection. To date the company estimates that its force of 500,000 workers have completed more than 25 million various tasks for businesses.
CrowdSource co-founder and CEO Stephanie Leffler said the latest round of funding will primarily go toward furthering company growth. “The investment from Highland Capital Partners will allow us to further capitalize on the rapidly growing market for scalable labor solutions by adding resources to our team and expanding our offerings,” Leffler said. “Highland is committed to our vision and brings an outstanding network of resources to help us accelerate our growth.”
Leffler is a co-founder of Juggle.com, a Southern Illinois company that has developed a variety of niche websites that include daily deals, comparison shopping, and even an online writing community. CrowdSource is one of Juggle’s innovative websites — a novel business concept Leffler decided to focus on after recognizing the potential in the crowdsourced labor markets being utilized by companies like Amazon Mechanical Turk.
Much like Mechanical Turk, CrowdSource employs a network of pre-qualified workers that each receive a specialized piece of a project, employing a whole group of professionals to get a task done as quickly and concisely as possible. CrowdSource rewards its hardest workers with a variety of incentives, including better pay and bonuses for efficient and timely results.
Corey Mulloy, a general partner at Highland Capital Partners, will join CrowdSource’s board of directors following the recent investment. Mulloy praised CrowdSource for achieving such “impressive results” during just over a year of operation. “With its leadership position, innovative culture, and strong team, we see huge growth potential in CrowdSource as it offers its specialized solutions to enterprise customers and brings much-needed innovation to traditional labor practices,” Mulloy said.