Renren Extends With $22M Investment In Shiftgig, An Uber For Jobs
Renren has led a $22 million Series B round in Chicago’s Shiftgig, a website and app that creates a marketplace for short-term jobs and has been nicknamed as “Uber for the service economy.” Co-investors include GGV Capital, Chicago Ventures and DRW Venture Capital, as well as individuals such as Match.com CEO Sam Yagan. The capital comes one year after Shiftgig raised $10 million, and brings the startup’s total funding to $35 million.
Launched in 2012, Shiftgig began as a professional-networking platform for people working primarily in restaurants and service jobs. It has since changed into a tool that is disrupting the staffing business by connecting employers directly with people looking for flexible hourly work across hotels, retail, food service, hospitality and events. The startup targets the largest employers of hourly workers, which often face seasonal spikes that can add to their labor costs.
Shiftgig has seen rapid growth leading up to this latest financing: in the last six months, the startup acquired 270 new clients; increased its “Shiftgig Specialists” (workers available through the platform) by 325%; opened in five new cities (Atlanta, Houston, Memphis, Miami, and Phoenix); and tripled the number of monthly shifts workers to 15,000. The company itself has doubled its staff to 110.
CEO and Cofounder Eddie Lou plans to use the new funds to expand the mobile marketplace to more cities in North America, and to go after the corporate market. Shiftgig also aims to increase its investments in sales, marketing, technology and operations.
NYSE-listed Chinese social media company Renren has been transforming into an active startup investor, and has made numerous investments over the past two years, including such high growth companies as San Francisco-based marketplace lender SoFi.