Blue-collar workforce management platform Smartstaff (previously Qikwork) has raised $ 4.3million in funding from Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Arkam Ventures, along with Gemba Capital and some angels. The announcement comes at a time when the enterprises, especially across e-commerce and manufacturing industries have scaled up the hiring of blue-collar workers with the growing demand and markets opening up.
Smartstaff, which has more than 100 million manufacturing workers onboarded on the platform, helps businesses hire and manage their blue-collar workforce by digitising workforce management practices. Their goal is to enable 100 million blue collar workers in India to get access to better work by leveraging the power of technology. The funds raised will be used for further enhancing the product and building the team.
Despite various government interventions, blue-collar workers bear the brunt of poor workplace practices, an inefficient workforce management system and processes. Traditionally, the space is managed by the contractors and middle-men with notice boards, entry registers and excel sheets. The resulting inefficiencies and productivity losses are huge, with the average manufacturing plant seeing up to 30% monthly blue collar worker attrition, and as much as 20% absenteeism at the shift level. Workers also struggle with incorrect payouts from factories in addition to pay and PF embezzlement by middle men amongst other things.
Smartstaff claims that it solves for these challenges with an easy-to-use, mobile-based, workforce management and staffing solution. It helps the manufacturing industry upgrade from legacy processes, and dramatically reduces attrition and absenteeism while improving their workers’ visibility into payouts, statutory contributions and their timesheets. Currently, over 30,000 man hours of work is tracked everyday on the Smartstaff platform with clients including Raymonds, Enamor, Dixcy and more. The company expects to have over 10,000 workers on its platform by the end of the year.
“With more and more industrial workers getting access to smartphones, we see a huge potential in using technology to reimagine workplace processes, and unlock massive value for companies and workers alike,” Arpit Dave, Co-founder & CEO, Smartstaff, said.
Smartstaff was founded in October 2020 by four co-founders and ex-colleagues at Runnr – Arpit Dave, Viral Chhajer, Gnanesh Chilukuri and Aravind Reddy. Blume Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners were also early backers of Runnr. All four founders have previously founded and scaled-up startups. The fast-growing team, currently at 60 members, comes with rich experience in Product, Tech, Marketing & Operations.
“We at Nexus are very excited to partner again with Runnr’s founding team to re-imagine blue-collar recruitment and staffing for over 100 million workers in the country. Via their new-age work-force management platform, SmartStaff aims to drive game-changing efficiencies in the way manufacturing and supply chain companies' source, retain, upskill, pay and incentivise their staff,” Sameer Brij Verma, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, added.
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