Hello World ! (Again)
Salt Labs is a new loyalty and payments technology company. It is the second company to be founded by Jason Lee and Rob Law, co-founders of unicorn DailyPay. The mission of Salt Lab is to enable frontline workers to own the long-term value of their work. We envision a future where workers are able to capture the value of their work beyond their hourly wage, leading to greater financial freedom and long-term wealth creation. Salt Labs believes that by modernizing the total rewards structure for workers, companies can better align their long-term interests with those of their workers.
As we write this, we are heads down developing and creating never before seen products and software that establishes and deepens the bond between employer and employee in a way you haven’t seen. Over time, you can expect us to deploy a mix of web2, web3, and payments inventions to bring our vision to life.
The frontline workforce, made up of over 76 million Americans, has an ownership problem. Unlike salaried workers who can build lasting personal and financial equity and wealth through retirement plans, job history, profit-sharing programs, and stock options, hourly workers are often not afforded the opportunity to participate in the ongoing value they create for the economy. Hourly workers do not even benefit from a modern way of memorializing their work through a credentialing platform like LinkedIn. The paycheck-to-paycheck epidemic is the result, imposing financial stress on working families and high turnover on employers.
Consider the waitstaff at a local restaurant. In a given shift, their hard work has the potential to generate lifelong customers – equity that the establishment will benefit from for years. The value created by these workers compounds for the company / employer, but not for the employees who made it possible in the first place. Instead, any value they have built is siloed into a bi-weekly paycheck, which resets their earning potential accrual after each pay period. This traps the hourly worker in an unrewarding cycle, leaving them building from scratch every two weeks with no lasting equity to show for the ongoing and compounding value their work creates across time.
Through ownership, we are looking to radically change this outcome. We define ownership as the ability to control and reap the benefit of an asset that yields dividends or appreciates in value over time. Ownership creates a longitudinal relationship with work by enabling economic activities such as buying, selling, and earning, well beyond the time of labor. This makes ownership the central tool for wealth generation and economic mobility throughout history.
Our first product is a loyalty app that enables frontline workers to earn a unique rewards currency called "Salt" for every hour that they work. Think of it like a frequent flier mile program, only instead of earning miles for flying, you earn Salt for working.
Initially, the app will enable the user to earn Salt which they can redeem for goods and experiences, much in the same way that other loyalty programs work. However, over time, our plan is to continue to build properties and features that make Salt “more asset-like,” as opposed to “points-like.” For example, Salt does not have an expiration date. This is different from other points programs where points typically expire after some period of time of earning them, such as Starbucks and McDonalds that expire after 90 days of earning. In the future, we may add features like “vesting” - where a worker earns additional Salt by working at a given job for some period of time, a cash-out feature for cash - something that has long been a desired feature of any rewards program, or even to make Salt financeable and tradeable. Over time, our vision is that Salt may one day be the way frontline workers build long-term wealth and ownership.
This is a population of Americans that the founding team of Salt Labs is passionate to serve. Jason and Rob built their first company DailyPay with a mission to bring income equality to this underserved segment. We at Salt Labs now hope to build a new company with a mission to bring wealth equality to the same people.
To accomplish our mission, we are excited to partner with some of the investment community’s greatest minds, 100% of whom also backed Jason and Rob at DailyPay. We are especially grateful to Fin Capital who is leading our $10 million pre-seed investment round that we announced today.
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The English word for “salary” comes from the Latin word “salarium.” And the root word of salarium is “sal”, or Latin for salt. The Roman army was actually paid in salt (and yes, it was daily). We invite you to partner with Salt Labs on this fantastic journey and to join us on our mission to create an entirely new world that enables long-term ownership for frontline workers everywhere.