Staffing Platform Wonolo Raises $138M to Address the Labor Shortage
Labor shortages and supply chain challenges have presented businesses across the U.S. with a unique set of issues to tackle. San Francisco-based company Wonolo, founded in 2014, aims to address these issues and more with its staffing platform. Now the company is receiving a financial lift to support its mission.
On Tuesday, Wonolo announced that it raised $138 million in fresh financing by way of Leeds Illuminate. The latest raise brings the company’s total amount of funding raised to over $200 million.
Wonolo connects workers across the retail, e-commerce, distribution and fulfillment industries to jobs. The on-demand platform enables enterprises to find and hire talent within minutes, according to the company. Thousands of top leading corporations use Wonolo’s tech to stay fully staffed, including Coca-Cola, Uniqlo and Mutual of Omaha.
Wonolo’s recent investment reflects a major shift in the world of labor and employment. Prior to the pandemic, the needs of frontline workers were frequently overlooked. Over the last two years though, that’s changed. While the privileged few retreated to the safety of their own homes to quarantine, frontline workers came to be considered heroes almost overnight. Grocery store employees, warehouse workers and more finally began to receive the recognition they deserved for their societal contributions.
Today, many of those workers continue to risk their health without much of a choice, and unfortunately, many pay the price with their lives. As a result, the U.S. is facing a major labor shortage. Essential workers across the country are going on strike to demand higher wages and fairer treatment.
“As labor shortages continue, workers have more power than ever. We are seeing a seismic shift in what workers are looking for when it comes to selecting job opportunities,” Yong Kim, founder and CEO of Wonolo, said in a statement.
Over the last year, wage strikes have taken place across companies like Nabisco, Frito-Lay and, more recently, John Deere and Kellogg’s. Several similar actions are currently in the works across the film and healthcare industries as well.
“Workers are opting for flexible work that offers them a chance to further develop portable skills and get access to living wage jobs at a variety of job sites,” Kim continued.
Wonolo’s goal is to expand that access. To date, over one million workers have used the staffing platform to pick up a job, according to the company.
Following the latest raise, Wonolo plans to invest in its expansion across new markets. The company has its sights set on several major metropolitan areas including Dallas, Atlanta, New York City and Chicago.
Wonolo’s market reach isn’t the only thing expanding, the company also plans to grow its headcount. The company is now hiring for over a dozen remote-based roles across its product, recruiting and engineering teams, to name a few.
Additional investors 37 Ventures, G2 Venture Partners and Franklin Templeton participated in the round, among others.