YellowBird, a gig economy marketplace headquartered in Phoenix, has closed its seed capital raise with more than $1.7 million in funding.
The YellowBird marketplace connects businesses with vetted Risk and Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) professionals on-demand for projects of any size. The professionals are vetted with a five-step process that includes background and accreditation checks. Once approved, the EHS professionals provide services ranging from OSHA incident investigations and mock audits to industrial hygiene and providing on-site safety managers.
The YellowBird team consists of investors, executives and board members from a number of industry giants, including former employees of eBay, Intel, Amazon, the United States Air Force, among others.
The company will use the $1.7 million in seed money to hire more employees and scale in markets across the U.S. in order to meet the growing demand for freelance workers in a variety of industries. They also plan to invest in further developing YellowBird’s artificial intelligence platform.
This raise was YellowBird’s first seed round. The company received $400k from angel investors in March 2020 and then cancelled a seed round planned in April 2020, likely due to increasing uncertainty in the early months of the pandemic. During the pandemic, YellowBird professionals helped small businesses, religious organizations and schools to develop COVID-19 safety protocols and build plans for returning back to work.
“The pandemic sharpened YellowBird’s focus,” Michelle Tinsley, YellowBird’s Co-founder and COO, said in a statement. “YellowBird is providing important regulatory guidance to businesses in several industries and creating job opportunities for thousands of experienced EHS workers.”
In February 2021, the company was awarded a $25,000 EMERGEAZ Fast Grant, which came from a $1 million fund put together by InvisionAZ and StartupAZ in partnership with the Arizona Governor’s Office. The fund was created to recognize entrepreneurs and startups that used emerging technology to address the effects of the pandemic.
“We doubled down on COVID-19 early on and we’ve gotten a lot of attention for that,” co-founder and CEO Michael Zalle told AZ Tech Beat.
YellowBird was founded in 2019 by Zalle and Tinsley. This seed round was represented by venture capital firms Ridge Peak Partners and Revelry Venture Partners.