Our next chapter: Expanding gigs and announcing our investors, led by Benchmark
Update: Here is a link to a feature on Instawork in the Wall Street Journal today (sign-in may be required)
In 2015, nearly 4 years ago, we launched Instawork with a vision to create economic opportunity for local businesses and professionals, globally. We listened closely to our early users to ensure we developed products and services that adeptly met their needs before scaling broadly. We tried many approaches to connect them and got very excited about one in particular.
In pursuit of that vision, we are announcing the expansion of our gigs marketplace and previously raised $10 million in funding (in Spanish, here) between our Seed and Series A rounds, led by Benchmark, which will allow us to continue building a world-class team and product, and bring Instawork to more people. As part of our Series A, Bill Gurley joined the Instawork Board of Directors and has been a valuable partner.
The expansion of our our gigs marketplace is in support of two communities who are critical to our success: our Professionals, who are hospitality workers seeking economic opportunity and freedom every day, and our Partners, who are small businesses that rely on us to fill their staffing needs so they can grow.
Our Professionals make Instawork and every hospitality business in the world tick each day. We’re excited to enable a new generation of the emerging, diverse workforce, including immigrants, to be a part of the growing gig economy. Unlike other companies in the gig economy, Instawork doesn’t require Professionals to own a vehicle. All they need is a desire to craft and develop their skills. Instawork helps them develop their career and build their professional reputation and digital profile of record. We’re here to support Professionals like Jose, who now has the freedom to choose when, where and how he wants to work. Our Professionals on Instawork average at least 150% of minimum wage, and equally important, they know how much they are going to make when they pick up a shift.
Hiring capable staff is the single biggest challenge small businesses face, and it’s especially pronounced in restaurants and other hospitality businesses, where turnover is as high as 73% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018). We aim to serve our Partners quickly and reliably by matching them to highly qualified Professionals. Nearly 100% of our gigs get matched with a Professional within 24 hours, helping us become the essential staffing engine for our Partners.
Over the past few years, we’ve built an organization across every function dedicated to making our Professionals and Partners successful. Our team has decades of experience working in various small businesses, including restaurants. We’ve worked gigs ourselves (broken a few dishes!) and listened closely to feedback from all of our users.
As part of our global vision, we sought to have global DNA in our team from the outset. We’re excited that Bengaluru, India is a 2nd HQ for Instawork.
We’re also proud of the great work our team is doing to support broad innovation, including our engineering team’s contribution to the open source community with projects like Hyperview.
We deliberately focused on a single goal the past few years: effectively matching our Professionals and Partners and honing our flywheel. We view fundraising merely as a stepping stone to help us achieve our broader vision, and not an end in itself nor something to celebrate independently. More capital and expertise from our investors will enable us build a world-class product, team, and marketplace that creates economic opportunity for Professionals and Partners, every day.
Today, we’re excited to publicly acknowledge the support of our early investors, led by Bill Gurley at Benchmark, along with Y Combinator, SV Angel, Tuesday Capital, Liquid2, and dozens of other great angels and investors. Bill and Benchmark in particular have been involved with some of the most impactful marketplaces of our generation, including eBay, Uber, and Opentable. You can read why Bill is excited about marketplaces like Instawork here.
We’re growing our teams in the Bay Area and in Bangalore, and would love to hear from you if you share our vision and values around the future of work. It’s a long road ahead and there is much to do!
You can also visit www.instawork.com or download our free mobile apps to learn more about Instawork and becoming an Instawork Professional or Partner.