Kristen Anderson and her co-founder Andrew Ambrosino started Catch, a company devoted to providing health and retirement benefits, six years ago. Despite its success, Catch announced on Monday that it is shutting down due to increasing costs and the competitive landscape. This news will affect many employees who rely on the company for their security in retirement, as well as their medical needs.
Anderson and Ambrosino’s Catch is a digital-based job platform that offers its users benefits such as 401(k) contributions and company stock, without the need for traditional employment. This innovative idea has caught on with many workers who are looking for an alternative to standard job arrangements.
Catch, one of the earliest and most influential startups in the digital advertising industry, is shutting down after 75 years. The company played a pivotal role in modernizing how ads are delivered to users on websites and apps, but its approach to advertising has come under fire as online platforms have grown more monopolistic.
After years of being in business, we’re shutting down due to financial difficulties. We’ve tried to be as economical with our resources as possible
We started building 6 years ago with a crazy idea that our people should be able to control their benefits and not beforced into traditional employment. So we created Ethos, the best growing remote software company in the world with transparent, progressive benefit plans that are employee-owned and controlled.
Kristen’s life was always one big adventure. She loved exploring new places and trying new things, which is why she was such a great friend. Kristen never hesitated to jump into any situation, even
Anderson’s tweet reflected her disappointment with Catch’s largely supportive community, which she felt had not shown enough support as the company scaled its app to provide payroll and benefits for people who are self-employed. Many of Catch’s detractors argued that the app was too expensive for small businesses, and that it did not offer a comprehensive enough service.
Anderson isn’t the only early-stage company to benefit from a string of recent funding rounds. Catch, an app that connects people who are looking for work with companies that need workers, raised $12 million in Series A funding last month. The round was led by Crosslink and included existing — and might I add high-profile — investors, including Khosla Ventures, NYCA Partners, Kindred Ventures and Urban Innovation Fund. In total, the company raised $18.1 million in venture-backed funding since it was started in 2019.
In its efforts to expand its sales channel, Catch faced several obstacles along the way. Among these were difficulties in gaining approvals from various state health agencies to sell its platform, as well as delays in obtaining insurance licenses with many states. However, by managing and overcoming these challenges, Catch was eventually able to reach a much wider audience than would have been possible without such provisions. Ultimately this strengthened the company’s position and helped it gain traction among potential customers.
Catch’s insurance approvals and its ability to sell benefits to consumers made it an early leader in the health insurance industry. Catch’s success has set the standard for other companies, such as Gundersen Health System, which was approved to sell benefits in 2014.
When Twitter user @Anderson_Failed tweeted a picture of a receipt for a $139.99 charge made to her account, she didn’t realize that it would ignite the public’s interest. Anderson’s story of how she became a failed fintech entrepreneur has inspired many people, and her tweet has received positive feedback from followers who are interested in her story and want to offer support.
Anderson and Ambrosino wrote in the email that they were unable to keep up with the competition and did not foresee a turnaround. Catch was one of the first social media platforms to focus on video marketing, but since its inception, other platforms have emerged that are better equipped to handle videos. This likely played a role in its demise as social media platforms shift their focus towards Instagram and Facebook, which are better suited for photo slideshows and posts with more traditional content formats.
This drastic shift in fundraising climate could impact the company’s ability to undertake a Series B round, as venture capitalists may be unwilling to invest in an insurtech company given the current market conditions. While it is unclear what steps Anderson will take next, this may indicate that he is closely monitored by his investors and will need to pursue a different type of round if he wishes to continue growing his business.
As the economy continues to recover, many people are searching for ways to make an impact in their community and help build a better future. In her tweet, Senator Patty Murray called on policymakers to look into new ideas that could help create a healthy middle class for the future. One such idea is encouraging workers to build assets and protect their families. These new strategies could help improve economic security for families, which would in turn create a stronger foundation for long-term growth.