Par Equity leads £1.6m seed funding into Gigged.AI
Par Equity has led a £1.6 million seed funding round into Gigged.AI, alongside existing investor Techstart Ventures, Edinburgh-based strategic design firm Nile HQ, and a number of entrepreneurs.
Now Gigged.AI is set to scale its HR tech as companies address hiring freezes and staff retention. The Glasgow-headquartered startup deploys AI-matching algorithms to help businesses source and onboard on-demand tech talent, while enabling SMEs and larger corporates to retain existing staff. Clients signed up to the platform include the BBC, ATOS, Webhelp, Skyscanner, FanDuel, and the University of Edinburgh.
In the UK alone, gig economy workers have tripled over the last five years, while Future of Work trends have been heavily impacted by the pandemic and ensuing remote or distributed workforces and, more recently, tech sector layoffs against a recessionary economic backdrop.
Gigged.AI CEO and co-founder Rich Wilson said: “The ‘Great Resignation’ has seen millions of people quit their jobs every month, as they leave to seek more flexibility and better opportunity.
“When you look at Gen Z, almost two out of three now engage in freelance work, and within our own talent community on the platform we are seeing around 70% of people with second jobs, or ‘side hustles’ as they’re commonly known.”
He added: “The companies in our client base are experiencing these trends first-hand and now have much better visibility for what skills they have in-house, and where they need to add talent, or upskill it.
“We have a best-of-class product, which is pioneering as we have both an open and internal talent marketplace, the first time the companies we are working with have had access to this kind of dual platform.”
Paul Atkinson, a partner with Par Equity who has overseen multiple exits in the sector, said: “HR tech is a fast-growing segment, and what Rich, Craig and the team have built in terms of the technology to support sourcing, onboarding, and helping to retain staff, in such a short amount of time is a remarkable achievement.
“We look forward to supporting the company on its journey to becoming one of the leading players in the sector.”
CEO Rich Wilson spent 12 years in the recruitment industry, then 2 years as an adviser to research and consulting group Gartner, before founding Gigged.AI in 2021 with CTO Craig Short, who had spent 12 years as a freelancer in the banking sector with RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.
The company plans to grow its team over the next twelve months, remotely in addition to its Glasgow and London hubs, and has a number of partnerships and contract wins in the pipeline this year.
Mr Wilson identifies hiring in a time of recession as a major theme in 2023.
He noted: “We used to talk about the ‘war for talent’, when demand outstripped supply, and now we’re in a phase where there are lay-offs and hiring freezes, particularly across the global technology sector, so this is something we are working really closely with clients on at the moment.”