Helpster, an on-demand staffing platform, has raised $2.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Mojo Partners and Wavemaker Partners bringing the total funding up to over $5 million since its launch in January 2016.
The company said that its existing investors also joined the latest round.
Prior to this round, it secured $2.1 million in seed funding from Convergence Ventures and Wavemaker in November 2016 and secured $750,000 in angel round from a group of investors including Paul Srivorakul, John Srivorakul, Tom Srivorakul, Piers Bennett and Helpster’s chief executive officer Mathew Ward in November 2015.
Helpster was co-founded by Ward and John Srivorakul, who have worked together for a decade in Southeast Asia’s startup scene and co-founded a number of well-known startups and venture capital firms including Admax Network, Ardent Capital, Ensogo and aCommerce.
Ward said, the latest funding will be used to accelerate its product and technology and also for sales and marketing. It currently has 60 team members in Indonesia and Thailand, the two key markets it serves.
The CEO said that Helpster is not just a job hunting platform but it operates more like a staffing agency that manages screening, interviewing and payments.
“Ultimately, we are reinventing the staffing agency model in the region,” he said. He added that going digital is hugely important in Southeast Asia where mobile adoption is at an all-time high.
“There are 100 million workers in Southeast Asia who work in semi-skilled jobs in serviced industries. And, 40 per cent of them are under contract or take casual work assignments,” he said. “Most of them have traditionally found work via offline channels such as word-of-mouth, or via traditional staffing agencies, yet the majority now prefer to use their smartphones. This has opened up the way businesses and these workers find and engage with each other.”
Helpster claims it assisted thousands of qualified workers find temporary employment each month in Bangkok and Jakarta where its business has a 100-per-cent month-on-month growth rate in terms of the number of days worked by its users.
Its key customers in Thailand include aCommerce, Central Group, Sephora, Grab and Uber. Meanwhile, it has boosted partnerships with Ismaya Group, Lazada and Union Group in Indonesia.
Most recently, another Bangkok-based job matching portal WorkVenture has also secured $3.6 million in a series A round to expand its operation in Southeast Asia.