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Shiftgig Pulls In $20M Series C Round

CHICAGO, IL, Shiftgig, the platform that helps companies including Amazon and Nike hire temporary workers, has raised $20 million in Series C funding.
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According to the Chicago Tribune, Shiftgig passed the 200-employee mark in December, of which about two-thirds are based in Chicago, CEO and co-founder Eddie Lou said. He plans to add 100 more this year, mainly in sales, marketing, operations and technology roles. A little more than half of those will be in Chicago.

In 2016, Shiftgig connected and paid between 14,000 and 15,000 shift workers across the country, Lou said. This year, he expects that number to top 35,000.

The round included returning investors Chicago-based DRW Venture capital and Menlo Park-based GGV Capital. Chicago-based KDWC Capital joined as a new investor. In total, Shiftgig has raised $36 million, Lou said.

'All of them have a passion and belief that the gig economy is not just consumer-to-consumer,' Lou said of Shiftgig's investors, an allusion to popular gig economy companies such as Uber that pay people to provide services to other people. Shiftgig, on the other hand, provides a platform that lets large companies hire people for shift work, such as stocking inventory in a warehouse or supporting caterers at an event.

In 2016, Shiftgig went beyond its roots as a restaurant-staffing platform to expand to new verticals including hospitality, retail, experiential marketing, and warehouse and logistics, Lou said.

He acknowledged that as automation and artificial intelligence technologies advance, some types of shift work may change or be replaced. But Lou said he thinks there will always be hourly workers for whom Shiftgig can provide a platform.

'People will shift into other jobs, either powering the robots or building the robots or doing something,' he said.

In December, the company launched Shiftgig Upskilling, a free internal platform that offers videos to teach shift workers new skills. He said some of the current tutorials cover how to use the Shiftgig platform and how to be compliant with safety regulations.

Shiftgig is working on more content tailored to skills different companies want workers to have, Lou said. He declined to provide specific details, as the program is still in beta. Additional skills training should help workers in a changing job market, he said.
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