HourWork, a SaaS recruitment and retention platform for quick-serve restaurant franchise owners, announced the closing of an oversubscribed $10 million Series A funding round. HourWork will use the funds to scale its customer success, sales, and marketing teams to service explosive demand for the company’s recruitment and retention solutions and execute on planned product development initiatives that will revolutionize hourly work and the gig economy for both employers and employees across all industries.
The funding round was led by Positive Sum, with participation from Permanent Capital. All existing investors also participated in the round including MassMutual’s Catalyst Fund, York IE, Impact Engine and OneValley Ventures. Sam Cates, Managing Director at Positive Sum, will join HourWork’s board of directors.
Founded by CEO Rahkeem Morris and COO Rob Snyder, HourWork’s vision is to transform hourly work and the gig economy, providing employers with the ability to dramatically improve applicant flow, eliminate retention challenges, and match demand for labor with workers who have certified skillsets in specific areas and are available to work. Furthermore, the company will change how hourly employees maximize their earnings, find work and market their skills.
Currently focused on solving applicant flow and retention challenges for QSR franchisees, HourWork has experienced explosive growth, adding 4,000 franchise locations to the platform in 2021 for a total of over 5,000 locations. This represents 5.3 million hourly workers on the platform. HourWork’s franchisee customers represent some of the largest multi-unit operators across iconic quick-service brands such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Dominos, Wendy’s, White Castle, and many others.
“The pandemic uncovered a disproportionately negative effect on the lives of hourly employees as compared to the general public, as well as a massive talent shortage for employers,” says HourWork Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Rahkeem Morris. “The dynamics of the hourly work economy have fundamentally and permanently changed, and this demands a new model for employers and employees. With this new round of capital, we will continue to drive breakthrough applicant flow and retention rates for [quick-service franchisees while investing in other initiatives that will not only benefit the [quick-service] industry, but will be transformative across multiple industries that employ hourly workers.”
Rahkeem’s personal story of dropping out of high school at the age of 14, and then working 13 hourly jobs over the course of a decade to help support his family, serves as the foundation of the HourWork mission: To save the American Dream for over 82 million wage workers that represent the majority of the workforce. Morris went on to graduate from Cornell, work for Google, and earn an MBA from Harvard, where he co-founded the company. Rahkeem is also a Commissioner with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the Future of Work and a Vice Chairperson for the Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology.
“HourWork is enabling a platform that significantly improves the labor market for employers and hourly employees,” adds Sam Cates, Managing Director of Positive Sum. “The current challenges of recruiting and retaining talent present a unique opportunity to rethink how these businesses operate. Employees are the most critical resource in every business, and especially these frontline workers that represent a [quick-service restauarant] to its customers day in and day out. That’s 80 million Americans that deserve more from their employment and careers.”
HourWork mitigates the root cause of hiring and retention woes for hourly employers today: Miscommunication. Exclusive data from the platform identified that more than 25% of first 90-day turnover is due to minor miscommunication errors. The HourWork software automatically helps employers course correct and decrease 90-day turnover by 27%.
“We are in the people business. HourWork helped us modernize our technology so we can better communicate with and support our employees,” says Robert Gallagher, Director of Operations of McDonald’s franchisee Frost Management Company.