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Digital access / Remote work / Startups / Workplace culture

This Fairfax company helps connect founders to virtual assistants

CEO Flor Liévano created OrangeUp to connect companies with a group of virtual assistants based in Colombia. The company has seen significant growth over the past year, as organizations took on extra tasks like podcasting during the pandemic.

While many local founders are focused on the growth of remote work in the DMV, OrangeUp CEO Flor Liévano is working to boost virtual work in a different market: Colombia.

“We were bringing a new opportunity over there because in Colombia it’s not that common to have remote work. We still have the traditional way of going to the office 8 to 5,” Liévano, the cofounder of the Fairfax, Virginia-based startup, said. “Giving the opportunity to [a] professional…to do a different job at home, just working virtually or remote — that’s really meaningful for us.”

With OrangeUp, the remote work in question is connecting businesses in the U.S. with a group of virtual assistants based in Colombia.

Liévano told Technical.ly that it works like this: After interested company leaders fill out an application, OrangeUp follows up with a call to find out more about what they’re looking for in a virtual assistant. It then matches the company with an assistant from the database and sets up interviews so clients can select the right one for them. After hiring, OrangeUp also sends reports twice a month and manages payroll for the assistant.

Currently, clients have the advantage of multiple assistants in the database who can take on different tasks. The variety in skills came in extra handy over the past year, when Liévano said the pandemic led companies to seek assistants to help out with things like podcasts and additional social media campaigns. She added that OrangeUp is also looking expand on its project management offerings from the assistants.

“Sometimes it’s not just about working with this virtual assistant because no virtual assistant has all the skills, but we have a team,” Liévano said. “We try to put on different tasks. If someone cannot do it, maybe the other person can do it better.”

The two-person company has about 15 clients in the DMV, plus New York, California and Colorado at the moment, with a team of 10 virtual assistants in Colombia. Liévano hopes that OrangeUp can keep expanding in the coming months. She’ll be taking a funding course at the Founders Institute this summer, and intends to open a funding raise in the latter part of the year. 

“We are looking for opportunities to see with whom we can partner with also to bring that service and provide that service to the clients in the U.S., and of course expand,” Liévano said. “We want to touch more parts of the U.S. and then deliver this service for those people. That’s the idea: Grow the team.”

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