More money for casual job-matching in Europe: Zenjob, a marketplace platform that targets students looking for side jobs in sectors like retail, logistics and hospitality and promises to connect them with employers in need of temporary labor, has closed a $50 million Series D round of funding.
It’s just under two years since the Berlin-based startup raised a $30 million Series C.
As with a number of other such “modern staffing agencies”, Zenjob directly employs temps — taking care of associated admin (like pay and back-office functions) to further simplify their experience. Another carrot it offers temp workers is a pledge that it’ll pay out half their salary within 72 hours after a fulfilled shift — potentially speeding up remittance versus a traditional agency.
On the flip side, employers sign a contract with Zenjob and can then book temporary staff as needed, including for both short and longer term jobs.
Zenjob says it works with “some of the biggest” companies in the delivery, retail, logistics, e-commerce, hospitality and service industries — but isn’t disclosing any customer names.
Currently, it says more than 2,500 companies, across 10,000+ locations in its two active European markets, are signed up to its platform to get temps on demand — with 40,000+ workers using the platform each month to book side jobs.
According to the 2015-founded startup it’s matched more than 1 million jobs across Germany and the Netherlands to date.
The Series D raise is led by Aragon with participation from all Zenjob’s existing investors, including Acton Capital, Atlantic Labs, Forestay and Axa Venture Partners.
The new funding is being pegged for expansion within Europe — including the U.K. market, where it plans to launch this summer — and for product dev, including new data-based automation features, which it says are in the works to serve the needs of its expanding customer base, such as by supporting new “white collar” style job categories.
“We are launching Zenjob in the U.K. this year and continue our investment in new European markets. We are also growing our operations in Germany and the Netherlands as well,” it tells us, adding: “We are growing our tech team and will heavily invest in the scaling and new automation features on our platform.
“Due to the heavy demand we will expand our offers in knowledge work and office jobs.”
Zenjob competes with a growing number of platforms targeting tech at job matching for temp roles — including the likes of Spain’s Jobandtalent, CornerJob and Luxembourg-based Job Today, to name a few.
Gig platform Uber has also been eyeing the space — launching a Work Hub for U.K. drivers back in 2020, as ride hailing took a demand hit during pandemic lockdowns, and a shift finder app, called Uber Works, in the U.S. in 2019.
In the European Union, incoming regulations aimed at tackling bogus self employment on gig platforms — via a pan-EU legal framework that will set out a minimum standards for platform workers — could accelerate demand for agency-style temp staffing platforms by channeling demand for on-demand labor through staffing intermediaries that do directly employ them, thereby enabling the gig platforms themselves to avoid having to hire thousands of delivery and other casual workers.
Discussing the competitive landscape, Zenjob argues that technology will be the biggest differentiator when it comes to the staffing market, job matching and platforms.
“When you look at the market, we just scratched the surface when it comes to using technology to handle the tasks that make staffing and job search tedious and slow,” it suggests. “That’s why we focus a lot on the internal technological development of our platform and all required processes. We have currently roughly 75% fully automated processes and our aim is to get north of 95% in the near future.
“Our model works because our tech focus allows us to offer a very fast service with high quality personnel (thanks to the high degree of automation) to the companies that we work with. And we can offer high fulfilment rates and reliable personnel, because the other half of our business is focused exclusively on providing the best experience and benefits to our talents. We pay above market rates for the jobs that we offer and we care a lot about the experience and satisfaction among the more than 40,000 people who are currently using our app to book jobs at any time of the day.”
Zenjob also argues there is massive growth yet to be tapped — pointing to Germany as an example, where it says 95%+ of staffing is still done mostly offline.
“So we are competing with large companies that are approaching job matching and staffing in a very traditional way,” it adds. “Our approach is 100% digital and we are always working on improving the benefits that we can offer to the people who book jobs through us: Fast payments, 24/7 opportunity to book jobs.”