A Seattle company that will pay you for doing quick tasks on your phone just raised $10 million.
Forget spending money on Candy Crush. A Seattle company that will pay you for doing quick tasks on your phone just raised $10 million.
Spare5 partners with Getty Images, Groupon and other companies to give app users short tasks that bolster the partners’ products and pay the user to complete.
The company spun out about 10 months ago from Madrona Venture Labs, a part of Madrona Venture Group.
The app works a bit like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, in which companies post short tasks online and users get paid to complete them.
Most Read Business Stories
- Big switch in Seattle homebuying: from most to fewest bidding wars in the country
- Seattle-area home prices drop again — down 11 percent in last six months
- King County family makes 'pretty decent money' but lives paycheck to paycheck. Here's the advice they got. | Money Makeover
- Costco tightens standards for antibiotics use by meat producers
- The future is bright for the video games of yesterday
A task on Spare5 comparing similar photos of shoes, for example, will give 15 cents to your PayPal account for every correct match. Another task, which requires you to call hotels and verify check-in and check-out times, pays out 35 cents.
It may not seem like much, but those small bits of cash can add up to a nice weekly payout for the millions who stare at their phones all day, said CEO Matt Bencke. It lets people do something productive on their phones, he said, and helps companies with small tasks.
“I think we as a tech industry have not caught up with the 160 million Americans spending five hours a day checking their phones,” Bencke said. “It’s an enormous asset.”
Bencke left a job as a senior vice president at Getty to launch the business, which also raised a $3.25 million seed round in November.
The Spare5 app connects to users’ Facebook accounts and slowly gathers basic data over time. If you do well on one task, Spare5 will reward you with other, similar tasks.
Of course, Spare5 is just starting out and occasionally the marketplace runs out of tasks for companies.
Spare5 will use the $10 million round, led by Foundry Group, Madrona and New Enterprise Associates, to expand its 13-person team. Ten of those 13 are “writing code, like always,” Bencke said, so the funding will enable the company to hire customer-service and marketing employees.