A New Financial Tool for the Freelancer Industry

September 15, 2014 - Finance
A New Financial Tool for the Freelancer Industry

The freelancer and contractor market is rapidly growing. Thanks to sites that connect clients with skilled freelancers, the workforce for freelance work is rapidly increasing. In the freelance market, freelancers have a hard time determining the amount they should withhold from their earnings for taxes and being able to locate an insurance provider.


Zen99, a new tool that plans to solve these issues at no cost to the freelancer. The Zen99 will allow freelancers to sign up for health insurance, manage their earnings and expenses, and determine how much they should be saving on taxes. Advice is also available, from online guidance with Zen99 University. The program was founded by Yan Lhert and Tristan Zier, who met while attending UC San Diego. Zier had a background in accounting, while Lhert developed software for a number of companies. Zier had his experience of freelancers, when he took over an operations team for a housecleaning company whose staff was all contractors. Lhert experience came from offering his software services as freelance work. 

Yan Lhert and Tristan Zier’s goal for Zen99 is to offer the HR services that a normal employee would have with their employer. Some of the services include saving and estimating taxes and obtaining dental and health insurance. They currently focus on contractors that work on delivery or ridesharing platforms, along with web developers and other freelancers that offer creative services. Their freelancers come from companies such as Lyft, Uber, Caviar, and DoorDash. In the future, they will expand to include tools for online vendors to manage their inventory. 

When it comes to insurance, Zen99 currently works with Assurant for short-term insurance plans and Blue Shield for normal health insurance plans. This eliminates the hassle of a freelancer going through numerous different plans themselves. Currently, Zen99 is only selling health insurance within California. They plan to expand to more states and other insurance options.