Instawork raises $60m to grow AI capabilities
And help upskill hourly workers.
Why You Should Care
Staff shortages are ongoing, particularly in sectors like hospitality.
Instawork is on hand to help link hourly workers and employers.
Find out how its bet on AI (following a $60m Series D) will drive further success.
The hospitality sector is still struggling to bounce back after COVID-19. After having to do layoffs and furlough during the pandemic, many companies are now facing staff shortages, and significant skills gaps.
The latest data from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 79% of hotels in the US are experiencing staffing shortages, with 22% saying they’re severely affected. The situation is similar elsewhere in the hospitality sector.
One solution is leaning into technology, like flexible work platform Instawork.
Despite general investor hesitancy around technology investments, the work that Instawork does in connecting hundreds of thousands of businesses in the US and Canada with millions of skilled hourly workers has attracted attention.
Now Instawork has closed a $60 million Series D round. This comes within a year of its $60 million Series C, and brings total investment into the flexible work platform to $160 million in the eight years since it was founded.
The Series D was led by TCV – new investors including 9Yards Capital and former NFL player Larry Fitzgerald Jr contributed to the round, as did existing investors like Spark Capital and Greylock.
Instawork bets on AI
The reason for investor interest into Instawork now is not just its hyper growth over the pandemic, but also that the company is planning to use the funding to further invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
Talking about the round, TCV general partner Gautam Gupta shared: “The current ways businesses access labor is fragmented, manual, and under penetrated by technology.
“We believe Instawork is dramatically changing its industry by using technology and data to connect businesses with the skilled workers they need.”
Gupta told Forbes that Instawork is “just getting started”; there’s lots of potential for long-term success.
Instawork CEO and co-founder Sumir Meghani added: “Deploying artificial intelligence to a rich database of signals about the hourly labor force is revolutionizing how businesses connect with the skilled workers they need.
“Instawork allows businesses to streamline their staffing process, reduce costs, and focus on their top priorities. We provide businesses with a flexible and reliable solution for finding skilled workers, while also empowering local workers to choose the work that best fits their skills and interests.”
Skills matching will be a particular priority for Instawork in this AI-powered stage of its growth. It wants to help companies access the talent with the right skills, as well as use AI to help workers upskill by building training and certifications into its existing platform.
For Instawork, it’s time for hourly workers to be able to access the same caliber of learning, development and opportunities as those white collar workers.
Watch this space.
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Allie is an experienced business journalist and can be reached at email@example.com.