Orka Technology Group is a worker tech startup that provides solutions that help hourly workers with sourcing, on-boarding and getting paid for work. In a recent development, this Manchester-based startup has announced that it has raised £29M (€33.5M nearly) in its latest funding round.
Raised a total of €36.4M
This latest round was a mixture of debt financing from Sonovate and equity funding involving the British Business Bank Future Fund and existing investors, including former UK CEO of Adecco Peter Searle. Since its inception in 2017, the company has raised a total of £31.5M (approx €36.4M), including this recent round.
According to the company, this capital will be used to fuel the rapid growth of its earned wage access product, Orka Pay. Furthermore, it will also deploy this funding to double its headcount to 50 in 2021 and invest in its full portfolio of tech solutions for shift workers, which also includes the company’s flagship product, labour-as-a-service platform Orka Works.
The rise of flexibility
With the future of work largely revolving around flexibility due to the pandemic, HR startups around the world are trying to capitalise on this new normal. Orka too is treading a similar path as it believes it can cater to the shift towards flexible employment taking place across many industries. With Orka Pay, the company aims to capitalise on the growing demand among businesses and workers for flexible pay options.
“Launched last year, Orka Pay enables shift workers at partner organisations to withdraw up to 50 per cent of their wages as soon as they have earned them, providing an alternative to high-interest loans and credit card debt,” mentions the company in its press release.
Tom Pickersgill, co-founder and CEO of Orka, says, “Four years ago we set out to transform the experience of hourly-paid workers, who make up 85% of the global workforce. What we’re doing is unique in this sector, and thanks to this funding, we’ll be able to reach many more businesses and their employees in the coming year – and improve the service that we can offer them.
Orka builds products designed specifically for hourly workers, in order to solve challenges around high-turnover, high-volumes and high-velocity employment within traditional industries, such as security, cleaning, and other service industries.
The company claims that the current hourly-worker solutions are broken and not aligned with today’s job seeker. “Traditional players haven’t really changed how they behave in many years, but with rising use of technology, how people want to work and find that work has significantly changed,” Orka mentions on its website.
It has three products – Orka Works, Orka Pay, and Orka Check. The company’s first product, Orka Works (formerly Broadstone), allows workers to find fair and flexible temporary employment with large organisations working in traditional, regulated industries such as security, cleaning and logistics.
According to the company, Orka Works is used by over 50,000 people in the UK to find work, and it witnessed 150 per cent year-on-year revenue growth in Q3 of last year and counts G4S and ISS among its growing client base. This year, the company will launch its third core product, Orka Check, to improve the process for worker background checks.