HR startup Orka Technology Group has raised £29m in fresh funding to support its earned wage product and drive its UK expansion.
The Manchester-based startup is designed specifically for hourly workers with its labour-as-a-service platform allowing people to find temporary employment.
Last year the startup announced Orka Pay, which allows hourly paid workers to withdraw up to 50 per cent of their wages as soon as they’ve worked a shift. Now it wants to double down on the product and use the fresh funding to fuel its “rapid growth”.
The latest fundraising, brings the total raised by Orka to £31.5m since it launched in 2017. The round was a mixture of debt financing from Sonovate and equity funding involving existing investors and the British Business Bank Future Fund.
The startup is also looking to double its headcount to 50 over the year and invest further in its flagship product Orka Works. The service allows people to find temporary employment in more traditional industries like security and logistics, and counts G4S and ISS among its client base.
Orka Works is currently used by 50,000 people in the UK with the startup reporting 150 per cent year-on-year revenue growth in the third quarter.
“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,” co-founder and chief executive Tom Pickersgill said. “More people are looking for work that fits around their life and want the entire process to be less onerous.”
This year Orka will also launch Orka Check, a passport system for shift workers to speed up background checks.
“Having followed Orka’s journey closely for a few years now, it’s clear that this is a company truly shifting the dial up when it comes to temporary work,” Peter Searle, existing investor and former Adecco boss. “They have rightly identified an important gap in the market, as more people seek out flexible employment that fits around their lifestyle, and they have unquestionably established themselves as a leader in worker tech. I’m very excited to be supporting them as they enter their next stage of growth.”