Wonolo—which stands for “Work. Now. Locally.”—was founded in 2014 by now CEO Yong Kim and COO AJ Brustein who previously worked for The Coca-Cola company. The startup aims to help underemployed individuals, or those who are unemployed or seeking extra work, find temporary work, and companies temporary help, through a TaskRabbit-for-businesses approach.
Through its mobile platform, users can search through temporary job listings in their area. They can view the date and time requirements and total pay for a job before selecting. Upon accepting, Wonoloers confirm that they have the required skills to complete the task. After completion, the worker is paid immediately.
Workers complete an onboarding process, including a background check; however, unlike traditional staffing companies ,Wonolo does not require potential contractors to upload a resume or perform an interview. Further, the company maintains accountability of both workers and companies with reviews based on its “5 Ps”–prepared, professional, positive, polite and punctual
Brustein told Crunchbase News that funding was a lot easier this time around, as Sequoia approached the company with product and community-focused ideas.
“We believe that the winner in the space is the one that is going to build the strongest community,” Brustein said. “That’s something that we hadn’t seen often from many of the VCs that we talked to previously– they tended to be more analytical, numbers-based people,” he continued in our call.
Brustein believes that what separates Wonolo from other similar products, like Shiftgig, is that it aims to help the temp staffing process by working outside of the industry norms with its on-demand, mobile-first platform. He explained that giving individuals more autonomy over their employment decisions by providing 1099-based freelance work is beneficial to underemployed individuals.
“The part time worker… is probably in a worse situation in that they get really none of the benefits that people talk about with employment, but they’re trapped in a schedule that they can’t control,” Brustein said.
The company will be using its fresh funds to expand strategic partnerships, add more companies to its marketplace, and increase its reach in local markets in the U.S. Prior to its Series B, the startup raised a known total of $7.9 million. Most recently, Wonolo picked up $5.7 million in a Series A in January 2016 that included participation from Coca-Cola Founders, Crunchfund, and PivotNorth. Its latest round brings its aggregate total funds raised to $25 million.
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