This founder is building a legacy one payroll system at a time.
Craig J. Lewis is the founder and CEO of the FinTech platform changing the way businesses pay people.
On a mission to simplify the payroll system while building a legacy to ensure that people remember his last name, Lewis knows what it means to be resilient when the odds are stacked against him.
Gig Wage was built to help ease pain points for the payroll system that neglects the 1099 employee, or what Lewis calls the “gig” worker, made up of freelancers, contractors, etc.
To date, Lewis has managed to raise $13.2 million and is on a path to quadrupling the size of his company by the end of 2021.
He sat down with AfroTech to discuss what representation means to him in the venture capital space, where he feels the industry gets it wrong and how they can correct that, and the solution that Gig Wage provides that isn’t found on the market.
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AfroTech: What does representation look like for you in the VC industry?
Lewis: A piss poor job (chuckles). There’s a lot of room for improvement on the investor side and there’s a lot of missed opportunities on the entrepreneurial side.
I believe that investors are truly missing out on a lot of innovation, ingenuity, and ROI by not investing in more underestimated investors and I think the leading cause of this is not having enough diverse talent on the investor side of the table, although that’s not an excuse.
AfroTech: Representation really is key. Where do you feel the industry gets it wrong, and how can they fix it?
Lewis: For me, the bottom line is just that you have to do it. It’s very basic. You have to invest in more underestimated founders, period and as CEOs and executives in the industry, you have to hire more diverse talent, there’s no way around it.
At the end of the day, people either choose to do this or they don’t and more people need to choose to do it because if they don’t, they’ll continue to see that they’re missing out because entrepreneurs like myself will show them.
AfroTech: Yes, to you for providing the solutions! Speaking of problems, can you speak to what issue your company, Gig Wage, aims to solve?
Lewis: I’ve been in the technology, payroll space for over a decade now. I helped to sell ADP’s [the largest payroll company in the world] first cloud-based product called ADP Run and that’s where it all started for me.
For over a decade, I’ve seen the impact that technology has on the payroll space. After reading an article about the global independent workforce, aka the gig economy, I realized that there wasn’t a payroll space for that group, meaning, people who do work for a company but the companies aren’t really designed or don’t have access to the technology to pay these type of people. These are your freelancers, contractors, 1099 employees.
Gig Wage is a payroll company made for the gig economy that’s focused on the businesses first so that they can pay workers how they want to be paid, when they want to be paid, where they want to be paid, and still be competitive for talent.
We’re payroll, we’re payments, we’re banking for the businesses and for the workers.