Trabaan employment board formed to help entry-level workers find free shifts at fulfillment centers and event venues, today announced it has raised $20 million in a Series A round. Khosla led funding with Founders Fund, General Catalyst , SciFi VC, and Atomic, valuing Traba at $120 million after cash.
CEO Mike Shebat says his experience as a warehouse manager at McMaster-Carr, an Illinois-based industrial supply company, inspired him to co-found Traba in 2021. In an interview with TechCrunch, he noted that recruiting for warehouses remains a challenge. , with annual turnover in excess of 40%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seventy-three percent of warehouse operators responded to one recent interview they say they can’t find enough manpower.
After a year and a half at McMaster-Carr, Shebat joined Uber, where he co-founded the budding UberEats division. He met Traba’s second co-founder, Akshay Baddiga, through OnDeck, an online boot camp for entrepreneurs. Previously, Buddiga worked as a product analyst at Zenefits and as a senior technical manager at Fanatics, a sportswear retailer.
“There have been many changes at the macro level during the pandemic, making the creation of Traba the perfect moment… Considered “essential workers” during the pandemic, warehouse workers are finally getting a taste of what increased flexibility looks like and want to return to the workforce with more flexibility, pay transparency and quality work,” Shebat said. “DDuring economic crises and recessions, warehouses experience even greater uncertainty about the volume of their orders. With limited cash and risk-averse, they have difficulty predicting full-time workforce needs. Therefore, they begin to rely more on temporary labor than when they can predict order volume and customer behavior.”
Traba brings together workers who must pass a background check based on Examination — with open shifts in distribution centers, warehouses and event venues. Contractor profiles allow workers to upload work histories and certifications, as well as view their ratings and reviews; employers using Traba can evaluate employees and vice versa.
Shebat said that Traba did some background checks on employers. In addition, the ratings of the companies are an attempt by the platform to protect workers from dishonest practices, especially in the warehouse industry, which is usually prone to accidents. The injury rate among warehouse workers is rated be 5.1 per 100 full-time employees, one of the highest rates of any profession.
“Even though this is a very entry-level job with most workers earning minimum wage in their alternative jobs, our platform has a minimum wage of $13. The range is $13 to $38 an hour — the median wage last month was $16,” Shebat said. “Because Traba requires a $13 minimum wage, it self-screens employers who tend to treat workers better. We also turned down or “fired” companies that didn’t have the right standards, such as no air conditioning in a hot warehouse or complaints about abusive bosses. We do a lot of work to ensure they get great employees, so we also want the employee to have a great experience.”
On Traba, workers can find shifts based on their preferred types of work, location, modes of transport and hours. Companies only pay for shifts filled by the platform.
“The biggest value for decision makers is automation,” Shebat said. “Currently, the process of managing a relationship with a recruitment agency requires a lot of manual work – paper timesheets have to be filed and reconciled with the agency’s invoice, the invoice has to be sent to the accounting department and then paid, and the reporting is almost inaccessible. for decision makers. With Traba, time tracking is done in the work application, meaning time sheets are automatically updated and displayed in the business application immediately after a shift, and invoices are generated based on these time sheets once approved by the company.”
Shebat drew attention to Traba’s recently introduced instant payments feature, which distributes payments to employees’ bank accounts or debit cards in as little as 15 minutes after a shift. Another new feature, “favorites first” or “favorites only,” allows businesses to post shifts that give priority access to past-performing workers, he explained.
When asked who he considers to be Traba’s main rivals, Shebat listed some of the biggest staffing firms in the US: Allegis, Randstad, Adecco, and TrueBlue. He is also aware of the rivals in the tech sector − Wonolo and Instawork among them. shiftsmartone of the biggest players in the space, raised $95 million in December through a network of 500,000 contractors.
Generally speaking, hourly-focused startups have caught the attention of investors lately. When I work, The fountain, Flavored, home base as well as Workiz raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital funding over the past year. This is not to say that gig marketplaces are a sure hit. Yivethat connected workers in the gig economy with retailers, malfunction last August after raising $35 million. But there is a lot of capital in the way – and competition.
Whether this will change in light of economic headwinds remains to be seen. But Shebat says Traba is well positioned to grow anyway. Annual revenue is over $1 million in eight months of operation with 12,000 employees on the platform, and he expects revenue to increase 5x over the next year. It is planned to increase the staff of Traba from 22 to 50 people by the end of the year.
“We plan to expand geographically…primarily to Texas and other light manufacturing states. [and] gramsales department,” Shebat said. “We are also creating several new product releases to improve our work application, business application, and back-end tools – most notably dynamic pricing, worker-to-business communication tools, automation for efficiency, and employee finance solutions.”
Under Series A, Traba’s total fundraising to date is $23.6 million.
Credit: techcrunch.com /