Moonlighting Eyes Opportunity as US Devolves to Gig Economy

Two years into founding Moonlighting as a resource for participants in the gig economy, Jeff Tennery is looking to strike more deals with media and corporate partners to tap into a market of 100 million underemployed consumers in the United States.

The former Millennial Media executive and now CEO of Charlottesville, VA-based Moonlighting claims 300,000 users of his platform that puts freelancers in touch with temporary job opportunities.

“U.S. workers can’t find full time employment and wages have stagnated over two decades, forcing many to turn to the gig economy to solve their earnings,” Mr. Tennery said.

“From our inception two years ago, we believe that full-time jobs will continue to shrink and not keep pace with the population growth, leaving a massive employment gap for many,” he said.

“Moonlighting’s sole focus is to fill that earnings gap and help freelancers legitimize their business and assist first-time entrepreneurs in building their own independent business.”

In this Q&A, Mr. Tennery discusses the state of U.S. employment, labor trends, catering to different generations looking to supplement their income, Moonlighting’s revenue plan and the role of technology in connecting jobs with jobseekers as full-time employment and job security ebb away. Please read on:

As we wrap this year and head into 2017, where is Moonlighting heading in terms of progress?

Our mobile on-demand platform continues to attract users from all demographics across a wide variety of jobs.

In 2017, we are focusing on maximizing our partnerships with the top local media companies in the country like Gannett, tronc and McClatchy to drive deeper into their communities and help our users find more meaningful work and sustainable income.

It’s quite common to hear terms such as the gig economy, which itself is an evolution in the way U.S. workers view their means of employment. Is Moonlighting capturing that zeitgeist?

Moonlighting sits at the epicenter of the 21st-century employment revolution and our platform was built purposely to legitimize the gig economy.

U.S. workers can’t find full time employment and wages have stagnated over two decades, forcing many to turn to the gig economy to solve their earnings.

From our inception two years ago, we believe that full-time jobs will continue to shrink and not keep pace with the population growth, leaving a massive employment gap for many.

Moonlighting’s sole focus is to fill that earnings gap and help freelancers legitimize their business and assist first-time entrepreneurs in building their own independent business.

You haven’t just designed Moonlighting to be a simple Upwork.com, Guru.com, Angie’s List, freelance.com or freelancer.com sites, right?

Correct, we designed Moonlighting very differently and often find ourselves explaining to the media that we are an open marketplace.

Meaning, we want our users to control all aspects of their employment and provide them the very best tools to empower them to build a long-term sustainable freelance or small business.

We built tools that allow them to interact with new and existing clients on their terms including pricing and promoting their services.

Many of our contemporaries have either replicated Uber’s curated model or take a decent-sized chunk out of the worker’s wallet.

We’re in the business of helping people earn as much as possible, keep that earnings and provide them multiple places to get discovered and not just in a walled garden.

The name is catching and appropriate and quite in tag with the concept. What does Moonlighting stand for and who are you targeting?

When we first started the company, like many entrepreneurs, we had day jobs, and worked nights and weekends to build the platform.

We were motivated from the onset to help people like ourselves make extra money on the side, moonlighting, and the name made sense.

We wanted to target the LinkedIn crowd and thought making side money would appeal to frustrated corporate employees who wanted to get ahead.

In our first year, we saw interest grow from that frustrated Gen X corporate employee to the energetic first-time entrepreneur millennial, to work-from-home moms.

We even have baby boomers who are eager to supplement their fixed income and not ready for the retirement circuit.

What milestones have you reached through this past November, you know, such as users and categories?

Moonlighting now sits at 300,000 users nationwide and operating in over 1,500 cities and currently a top 10 app in the job postings category in the App Store.

We launched a new product called Moonbeam that helps our users [and what] we call “Moonlighters” find jobs accelerate their business. It’s the fastest way to hire someone and designed to help people engage our users much like you order a car on Uber.

Read the full Q&A on Luxury Daily!

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