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Para, Inc.

Para ( is a company dedicated to making gig work (e.g. Uber, Doordash, etc.) better for gig workers. The major apps all collect large amounts of data about their workers, but do not provide it to them. Drivers could greatly benefit from knowing which times of day and which areas are the most profitable, and which apps pay the best for the same trips. Para allows drivers to see basic stats about their work, such as $/hour, $/mile, as well as which customers and businesses treat drivers well, and which ones don't. Especially for those that do gig work as a full-time source of income, these sorts of metrics can be indispensable. We wanted there to be a platform by and for gig workers, a truly essential part of our economy.

I joined the team as a Summer intern in 2020, working remotely during the peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic. When I joined, the engineering team was just one of the founders, ex-Twitter engineer Jeffrey Tang, myself, and one other intern. The entire group was only 7 people strong and working title of the website was, which was shortened to Para during my time there. The engineering work consisted of running a flask-based website that asynchronously pulled data from the various gig apps' APIs and brought it into our databases where it could be analysed and displayed to the users. The coding was a good challenge and got me some valuable experience working in the front-end heavy webapp space, and getting used to using database products like Postgres.

Overall, I found that the experience of building a company and being a part of the weekly all-hands meetings was more valuable than the programming aspect of the internship. It was exciting being a part of something so new, and working with people who were experts in their field and truly passionate about using their talents to improve the world. Another founder, David Pickerell, a former Uber VC and the current CEO, was driving Uber himself and spending most of his time talking to gig workers and trying to understand what sorts of features they wanted, and what would make the best experience for them. Of course, talking to investors and keeping funding in mind was important, but never more important than doing good by our end users. I found myself pitching our company to every Uber driver I ran into. Today, I am proud to say that Para is alive and well, with over 100,000 users and raised $11M as of 2022.

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