Dallas-Founded Shiftsmart Raises $95M Series B Round to Grow Its On‑Demand Labor Marketplace

On the tail-end of a landmark year—one that saw Shiftsmart double both staff and revenue—the labor platform has raised funding to fuel growth and continue empowering its 600,000 workers across 50 countries with flexible gigs.

It’s been a major year for Shiftsmart—and it’s capping it off with a $95 million Series B funding round announced today.

The flexible labor platform for workforce management was founded in Dallas in 2015, but ramped up exposure last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the labor market took a massive hit caused by business closures and social distancing guidelines, Shiftsmart was in a strategic position to offer alternative solutions, like in-home call centers, safety audits, and vaccination and testing stations. The company was instrumental in launching Dallas-based Get Shift Done, an initiative that created a fund to put people in the North Texas hospitality industry back to work at nonprofits during COVID.

Get Shift Done later made Fast Company’s 2021 World’s Most Innovative Companies at No. 28, and came in at No. 1 in the not-for-profit category.

Get Shift Done, at No. 28, is credited by Fast Company for its spot as “tackling both job loss and hunger by paying hospitality workers to fill food-bank shifts.” It also came in at No. 1 in the not-for-profit category.

A team at Get Shift Done packs boxes for RISD at Cafe Momentum. [Photo: Chad Windham]

In 2020 alone, Shiftsmart grew its base of workers from 90,000 to more than 400,000 across 25 countries. Those numbers are now 600,000 workers across 50 countries.

Shiftsmart ramped up its leadership team in March 2021 to continue momentum toward its mission to totally revolutionize the flexible labor market. It then launched new scheduling and staffing technology to minimize frustrations surrounding COVID-19 vaccination appointment registration.

The advancements earned ShiftSmart a coveted spot on the 2021 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and a finalist position in Fast Company’s 50 Game-Changing Ideas of 2021. And, Shiftsmart Founder and CEO Aakash Kumar and President Patrick Brandt were Southwest finalists for EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Patrick Brandt (left) and Aakash Kumar (right), who co-founded labor management platform Shiftsmart in 2015, are among the finalists for the 2021 Entrepreneur Of The Year Southwest Region Award. [Photo: Courtesy Shiftsmart]

Patrick Brandt (left) and Aakash Kumar (right), co-founders of labor management platform Shiftsmart, which topped North Texas by ranking No. 96 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list. [Photo: Courtesy Shiftsmart]

$95M in new funding will fuel additional growth

The startup’s latest news: A $95 million Series B round of funding to continue helping some of the largest employers “unlock the modern workforce.”

The financing was led by D1 Capital Partners, a New York-based global investment firm, with additional participation from Imaginary Ventures, Spieker Partners, S12F, and several industry executives and institutions. Kumar and most of Shiftsmart’s core executive leadership team live in New York City, but offices and staff remain in Dallas.

Kumar said investors recognized the company’s “pivotal role in meeting the overwhelming demand to reduce friction in end-to-end labor management, especially given current macroeconomic conditions.”

In the last 12 months, both revenue and staff has doubled, the company told Dallas Innovates. Shiftsmart has been able to staff millions of “skilled shifts” for enterprises, with a focus on large-scale customers and government institutions. 

Apple, Chick-fil-A, Humana, Airbnb and more use Shiftsmart

Companies that use Shiftsmart include Apple, Chick-fil-A, Humana, Dynata, Circle K, Airbnb, The RealReal, and the Small Business Administration.

Kumar likens the labor platform to Uber or Airbnb, two pioneers that he said were able to fractionalize assets down to the unit of consumption to expand the market size of their industries.

“In the same way that they transformed cars to rides and homes to trips,” he said, “we fractionalize hourly work down to shifts instead of jobs, thus creating a larger pool of qualified workers and increasing flexibility for both customers and workers alike.”

Last year, we also reported that Shiftsmart had filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a raise of more than $16.3 million in equity funding on a $16.5 million offering.

How it works

Kumar and his team built Shiftsmart to “empower the modern worker.” Similar to Amazon’s role as a widespread online consumer marketplace, Shiftsmart acts as a “one-stop shopping” spot for gig workers. 

By enabling more flexibility and options, the mobile app works to maximize the work and income opportunities available. Workers can find hourly open shifts from a variety of companies and industries, choosing jobs based on when, where, and how they want to work. There’s also registration for training to learn new job skills.

On the flip side, employers can tap into a larger talent pool to fill roles across core labor operations. This is especially important in today’s tight labor market, Shiftsmart says, with record low labor force participation, high employee turnover, and difficulties attracting and retaining workers. Companies are facing increasingly complex staffing requirements.

The team describes it as a “mutually beneficial labor ecosystem for individuals and organizations alike.”

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