Job market

Wonolo’s Big Round Comes As Temp Staffing Tools Are In High Demand

Startup backers seem to think temporary employment platforms have a very lucrative long-term future.

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To date, investors have pumped billions into apps and platforms aimed at helping employers and workers fill on-demand jobs more quickly and easily. Companies funded since last year have collectively pulled in just over $2 billion to date, according to an analysis of Crunchbase data.

Much of that is quite recent. The latest large funding recipient–San Francisco-based Wonoloannounced $138 million in fresh funding on Tuesday to scale its work-booking app, which matches workers with local, pay-by-the-hour gigs. So far this year, at least four companies in the space have raised rounds of $100 million or more. (See list.)

Job market trends support investors’ enthusiasm. As businesses emerge from the pandemic, many are struggling to fill open positions, including restaurants, retail and hospitality. Other areas, such as health care, have been chronically short-staffed for some time and see shortages worsening.

For workers, too, short-term employment platforms have some appealing attributes, including the ability to secure work and a paycheck quickly. They’re also a good fit for those who are seeking supplemental income or not looking to make a long-term job commitment. Per Wonolo’s research, jobseekers are a generationally diverse bunch, with those aged 41 to 75 (baby boomers and Gen X) the highest earners on its platform.

To show where investors see the highest potential for growth, we’ve compiled a list of 10 companies that have raised sizable rounds since last year, targeting industries from energy to hospitality.

The largest funding recipient on our list–Austin-based Workrise–has raised over $750 million to expand its platform for finding gigs in skilled trades, including the energy and construction industries. The company landed a $300 million Series E in May.

The second-largest funding recipient–fast background check provider Checkr–isn’t a staffing platform. However, its offering is part of the core infrastructure work-booking apps require to fill positions quickly with vetted employees. The 7-year-old, San Francisco-headquartered company has raised around $559 million to date, including a $250 million Series E in September.

Smaller businesses are among those facing the biggest hiring challenges. However, large employers are also turning to temp work platforms. Wonolo’s customer list, for instance, includes larger enterprises such as clothing retailer Uniqlo, facilities service provider Aramark, and fitness platform Peloton, along with small and mid-sized businesses such as Thistle, which preps and delivers healthy meals.

The target market for temp jobs, meanwhile, is a large one. Wonolo says that to date, over 1 million workers have used its mobile app to pick up jobs, which are commonly set around living wage standards for their areas. Certainly the company’s tagline–“No more resumes. No more interviews”–is a compelling pitch to those tired of the job-hunting game.

Of course, you still have to show up to work. Some things technology doesn’t change.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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