Steve Cohen is backing a former Amex exec solving a financial pain point facing 35% of the American workforce

  • Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures has led a $US3 million seed fundraising round for Extend, a New York-based fintech company.
  • The company aims to make life easier for the millions of Americans freelancing.

A financial technology startup has snagged $US3 million to take advantage of a pain point impacting the millions of freelancers in the US.

Extend, a New York-based firm, told Business Insider Tuesday that it raised the investment in a seed fundraising round led by Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures, and involving WorldQuant Ventures, Plug and Play, and other investors.

Extend’s platform allows companies to issue a temporary credit card to freelance employees.

It’s a win-win for both freelancers and employers. Freelancers can expense items like travel purchases without dealing with a lengthy and complicated reimbursement process. Employers, meanwhile, can extend credit to temporary employees without worrying about spend getting out of control.

“WithExtend, the days of uncomfortably handing over your credit card to an employee or freelancer are over,” Extend’s chief executive Andrew Jamison said. “We eliminate the need for individuals to use their personal cards to pay for business expenses.”

A study by Upwork, a freelance platform, found the freelance economy makes up more than 35% of the workforce, covering 55 million Americans.

Jamison, a former American Express executive, came up with the idea for Extend when he was a freelance consultant, working for a number of Big Four accounting firms.

“I was being asked to travel to meet with different financial services institutions,” Jamison told Business Insider. “Since I wasn’t an employee, they would have to reimburse me and sometimes it would take months.”

Point72 Ventures, the venture arm of Steve Cohen’s hedge fund Point72, counts Extend as one of its many recent investments. As Business Insider first reported, the firm invested in SAY, another financial technology company. It also invested in DriveWealth, a technology firm powering free stock trading,Business Insider previously reported.

Matthew Granade, the chief market intelligence officer at Point72 who oversees Point72 Ventures, told Business Insider the firm tries to identify companies that are alone in solving a big problem and are doing so in a way that works within the existing financial infrastructure.

“It’s fine for fintech startups to say I’m going to tear down the banks, or whatever else, we think the most promising businesses come from people who understand the ecosystem and figure out how they can fit into that ecosystem to improve it,” Granade said of Extend. “And this is a beautiful example.”

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