Shiftsmart, a Dallas-based tech startup that connects shift workers with employers, has raised $95 million in a new funding round.
Shiftsmart provides workforce management software, allowing employers to tap into a network of more than 600,000 workers seeking shift work, according to the company.
It’s one of the largest investment rounds of 2021 for a Dallas-Fort Worth startup, according to tracking site Crunchbase.
The company employs 60 people and operates in more than 50 countries with clients including Apple, Chick-fil-A, Humana, HP, Airbnb and even the U.S. Small Business Administration and Census Bureau.
Workers can use the platform for free, and Shiftsmart generates revenue based on fees charged to employers for use of the platform and on a per-shift basis, according to Forbes.
The new investment round was led by D1 Capital, and existing investors in the company include Mark Cuban Companies, Softbank, WeWork and Perot Jain — a venture capital firm started by Ross Perot Jr. and Anurag Jain.
Shiftsmart has now raised a total of $117 million from investors. And its total users have grown 50% from the 400,000 reported by Forbes as recently as April.
The company was named the fastest-growing in North Texas this year, ranking No. 96 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list. And Aakash Kumar and Patrick Brandt, who founded the company in 2015, were named finalists for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 Southwest Award.
Kumar likens the platform to Airbnb and Uber, which launched its own shift work platform called Uber Works last year.
“In the same way that they transformed cars to rides and homes to trips, we fractionalize hourly work down to shifts instead of jobs, thus creating a larger pool of qualified workers and increasing flexibility for both customers and workers alike,” the founder and CEO said in a statement.
Shiftsmart touts that its software can increase clients’ revenue, lower costs and fill shifts in minutes. It advertises that workers who use its platform to find work can gain new job skills, acquire multiple shifts, work flexible schedules and earn money quickly. Its website does not provide public estimates for how much a worker can expect to earn on average, but the company staffs workers across a variety of industries.
The company saw a 300% surge in new users after beginning an initiative with investor Anurag Jain last year in which it paired hospitality workers who were unemployed due to COVID-19 with hunger relief organizations in need of labor. The effort, dubbed Get Shift Done, has used privately raised capital to cover the wages of at least 28,000 such workers.
Over roughly the same period of time, Shiftsmart doubled its annual revenue.
In Dallas, Shiftsmart worked with the North Texas Food Bank in early 2020 to staff up when volunteers began canceling work hours due to concerns about the emerging pandemic. The food bank was concerned that it would have to shut down when there was a great need for food, and Shiftsmart paid workers matched with the nonprofit $10 an hour for their labor.
Shiftsmart also provides other software solutions, including COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution logistics as well as flexible call center staff that can be mobilized to assist with an influx of clients’ business inquiries.
When the SBA released new information in March 2020 about how business owners affected by COVID-19 could apply for emergency loans, the agency worked with Shiftsmart to set up a call center that could adequately triage calls in just 36 hours. Shiftsmart claims the effort completely eliminated call wait times.
“We are grateful to our investors for recognizing that Shiftsmart is playing a pivotal role in meeting the overwhelming demand to reduce friction in end-to-end labor management, especially given current macroeconomic conditions,” Kumar said.