The Chicago-based job matching platform launched in early 2018, Moonrise, has the goal of helping its users find temporary work when they’re looking for extra income.
The startup, which operates out of a loft in the West Town neighborhood, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Madison, Wis.-based American Family Insurance, which teamed up with design firm Ideo to devise a way to help the 40 percent of Americans who say they wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency expense.
“Our hope is that people go in and out of our platform as the need arises,” said CEO Kara Kaplan.
More than 2,000 people have applied to be Moonrisers, as they’re called, but only 200 have been accepted onto the platform, which vets workers carefully to ensure they are reliable. Most jobs through Moonrise pay less than $14 an hour. Its biggest client is Enterprise Car Rental, which often needs workers to move cars around.
Moonrise aims to marry high-tech with a high-touch, people-first philosophy. Employers list open shifts on the platform and Moonrisers get a text message when a shift arises that might interest them. Workers — who are employees of Moonrise, rather than independent contractors — have the option of getting paid the same day.
A: We really are a product of our parent company, which is American Family Insurance, and them noticing a problem that was taking place with a segment of their own customers. Basically they saw that in their own customer base they had individuals who were struggling to pay their premium payments on time. And so they wanted to dig a little deeper and figure out what was going on. Their innovation team partnered up with Ideo, a global design firm. What they discovered is that, by and large, these were really hardworking Americans that had full time jobs that really just couldn’t make ends meet and were living paycheck to paycheck, and they really wanted to solve that problem.
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