More money for casual job matching in Europe: Zenjob, a marketplace platform targeting students seeking side jobs in sectors such as retail, logistics and hospitality and promising to connect them with employers in need of temporary work, has a Series D of $50 million financing round closed.
It’s been just under two years since the Berlin-based startup raised a $30 million Series C.
Like a number of other such “modern staffing agencies,” Zenjob employs temps directly — taking care of the associated administration (such as payroll and back office functions) to further simplify their experience. Another root it offers temps is a promise that it will pay out half of their salary within 72 hours of a shift completed — potentially speeding up remittances over a traditional agency.
On the other hand, employers sign a contract with Zenjob and can then book temporary staff as needed, both for short-term and longer-term jobs.
Zenjob says it partners with “some of the largest” companies in the delivery, retail, logistics, e-commerce, hospitality and service industries, but does not disclose customer names.
Currently, it says more than 2,500 companies, across more than 10,000 locations in the two active European markets, have signed up to the platform to get temps on demand – with more than 40,000 employees using the platform every month to book side jobs.
According to the startup founded in 2015, it has so far equaled more than 1 million jobs in Germany and the Netherlands.
The Series D raise will be led by Aragon with the participation of all of Zenjob’s existing investors, including Acton Capital, Atlantic Labs, Forestay and Axa Venture Partners.
The new funding is secured for expansion within Europe – including the UK market, where it plans to launch this summer – and for product development, including new data-based automation features it says are in the works to meet the needs of consumers. its growing customer base, for example by supporting new ‘white collar’ style job categories.
“We are launching Zenjob in the UK this year and continuing our investment in new European markets. We are also expanding our operations in Germany and the Netherlands,” it tells us, adding, “We are growing our technical team and will be investing heavily in scaling and new automation features on our platform.
“Due to high demand, we will be expanding our range of knowledge work and office jobs.”
Zenjob competes with a growing number of platforms that focus on technology in job matching for temporary positions, including Spanish Job Band Talent, CornerJob and Luxembourg-based Job Today, to name a few.
Gig platform, Uber, has also been eyeing the space – launching a Work Hub for UK drivers in 2020 as ride demand took a hit during pandemic lockdowns; and a shift finder app called Uber Works in the US in 2019.
In the European Union, incoming regulation aimed at tackling bogus self-employment on gig platforms – through a pan-European legal framework that will include minimum standards for platform workers – could accelerate demand for agency-style broadcasting platforms by increasing the demand for on-labor demands through intermediaries who hire them directly, which helps the gig platforms themselves avoid hiring thousands of delivery drivers and other temporary workers.
Zenjob discusses the competitive landscape and states that technology will be the biggest differentiator when it comes to the staffing market, job matching and platforms.
“If you look at the market, we’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to using technology to perform the tasks that make staffing and job searches tedious and slow,” it suggests. “That’s why we pay a lot of attention to the internal technological development of our platform and all the necessary processes. We currently have about 75% fully automated processes and our goal is to get above 95% in the near future.
“Our model works because our tech focus allows us to provide a very fast service with high-quality staff (thanks to the high degree of automation) to the companies we work with. And we can provide high execution rates and reliable staff because the other half of our business is solely focused on providing the best experience and benefits for our talents. We pay above-market rates for the jobs we offer and we value the experience and satisfaction of the more than 40,000 people who currently use our app to book jobs at any time of the day.”
Zenjob also states that there is still massive growth to be tapped – pointing to Germany as an example, where it says that over 95% of the workforce is still largely done offline.
“So we’re competing with big companies that are dealing with job matching and staffing in a very traditional way,” it adds. “Our approach is 100% digital and we are always working to improve the benefits we can offer the people who book jobs through us: fast payments, 24/7 ability to book jobs.”