Below is our recent interview with Kira Caban, Head of Strategic Communications at Instawork:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Founded in 2016, Instawork is the leading flexible staffing solution for skilled hourly professionals. Its digital marketplace connects thousands of businesses and more than one million workers across the U.S., filling a critical role in local economies. Instawork helps businesses in food & beverage, hospitality, and warehouse/logistics industries fill temporary and permanent roles in more than 25 U.S. markets.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: Instawork recently raised $60 million in Series C financing, bringing a total funding to $100 million. The new funding will allow Instawork to continue rapidly expanding into new markets, job categories, and industries, while also investing in more training and development initiatives to help hourly professionals advance their careers.
Instawork also recently acquired Drafted, an AI-powered network recruiting platform that helps businesses hire by leveraging referrals. The Drafted platform will support Instawork’s recruiting and rewards program, and also offers tracking and management tools to streamline and drive efficiencies within the referral and hiring process. Drafted’s solution enables Instawork to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to accelerate the growth of the company’s pool of Pros with skilled hourly professionals.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: COVID-19 completely flipped many industries on its head. Hospitality was the hardest hit, with businesses closing and furloughing the majority of their staff. Even as businesses have started to re-open over the last few months, the July 2021 labor report showed a deficit of 1.7M jobs and there is additional evidence of hospitality workers leaving the industry altogether.
On the flip side, eCommerce is expected to have another record-setting year as consumers still rely heavily on product and food delivery to their homes, especially with COVID variants reinstating consumer concerns. With unpredictable demand, it’s hard for these businesses to keep adequate staffing that they can easily and rapidly ramp up when necessary.
This will continue to be a critical issue as both of these industries are getting ready to head into the busy Q4/holiday season.
Through Instawork, hourly professionals can easily register to share their unique work experience and skills, and access an entire marketplace of available short-term and long-term job opportunities that match their qualifications, interests, and schedules. The platform provides insight into each opportunity, including workplace reviews and hourly pay, which averages $18/hour.
Businesses that rely on Instawork Pros range from nationally-recognized organizations, such as Marriott and Sun Basket, to retailers seeing massive supply chain disruption and local hospitality businesses that need to staff service roles quickly. These businesses are consistently matched with high quality, reliable Pros to fill available shifts and deliver valuable services.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: On the heels of our Series C financing and Drafted acquisition, we will be continuing our accelerated momentum to provide skilled hourly workers the ability to create a work environment that works best for their personal and professional goals.
We are actively working to help bridge the labor demand/supply gap that is crippling so many businesses, as the country continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Adequate staffing throughout Q4 will be critical for local businesses that rely heavily on increased demand during the busy holiday season.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Our team is composed of talented and dedicated individuals who are passionate about our mission and working hard to make a big impact in our local communities by creating economic opportunities for businesses and skilled hourly professionals. Our headquarters is in San Francisco, with hub cities across the country, Canada, and India. Our company values are our North Star, guiding us as we craft impactful products and to be extraordinary colleagues to each other.
We also make it a priority to learn from one another and the experiences of our Professionals. All of the employees of Instawork corporate are asked to work a shift through the app in order to further understand the logistical details around each shift. This experience creates a unique perspective that has yielded significant input into how we can better serve our Partners and the Professionals leveraging Instawork for work opportunities. We have been fortunate to be funded by some of the greatest investors in Silicon Valley including: Benchmark (Bill Gurley), Y Combinator, Spark Capital, Google Ventures, Craft Venture, and many more. Leveraging our accelerated growth, we will continue to expand throughout the US and globally in order to revolutionize the labor market.