Blue-collar Workforce Management Platform Smartstaff Raises $4.3Mn Funding

The platform's goal is to enable over 100 million blue-collar workers to get access to better work

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Blue-collar workforce management platform Smartstaff (previously Qikwork) on Monday announced to have raised $4.3 million in funding from Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, and Arkam Ventures, along with Gemba Capital and angels. 

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The funds raised will be used for further enhancing the product and building the team. 

“With more and more industrial workers getting access to smartphones, we see a huge potential in using technology to reimagine workplace processes, and unlock massive value for companies and workers alike,” said Arpit Dave, co-founder, and chief executive officer, Smartstaff.

 “At Smartstaff the vision for us is to facilitate the digital transformation of the workforce management practices of India’s manufacturing and supply chain industries,” added Viral Chhajer, co-founder, Smartstaff.

Smartstaff helps businesses hire and manage their blue-collar workforce by digitizing workforce management practices. Their goal is to enable 100 million blue-collar workers in India to get access to better work by leveraging the power of technology.

 “We at Nexus are very excited to partner again with Runnr’s founding team to re-imagine blue-collar recruitment and staffing for over 100 million workers in the country. Via their new-age workforce management platform, SmartStaff aims to drive game-changing efficiencies in the way manufacturing and supply chain companies source, retain, upskill, pay and incentivize their staff,” shared Sameer Brij Verma, managing director, Nexus Venture Partners.

Blue-collar workers bear the brunt of poor workplace practices, an inefficient workforce management system, and processes. This is a space that has traditionally been managed by contractors and middlemen with notice boards, entry registers, and excel sheets. The resulting inefficiencies and productivity losses are huge, with the average manufacturing plant seeing up to 30 per cent monthly blue-collar worker attrition, and as much as 20 per cent absenteeism at the shift level. Workers also struggle with incorrect payouts from factories, in addition, to pay and PF embezzlement by middlemen amongst other things, the platform said in the press release. 

"Indian manufacturing is silently powered by tens of thousands of SMBs and their workforces. And yet, the ability to enhance that labor discovery, employment, productivity, and transparency - is alarmingly low. The Smartstaff team is all set to change that. Their solution has already wowed some of the smaller and largest employers in the space. We will soon see the core of Indian manufacturing be powered by Smartstaff," commented Karthik Reddy, co-founder, Blume Ventures.

Smartstaff solves these challenges with an easy-to-use, mobile-based, workforce management and staffing solution. It helps the manufacturing industry upgrade from legacy processes, and dramatically reduces attrition and absenteeism while improving their workers’ visibility into payouts, statutory contributions, and their timesheets. Currently, over 30,000-man-hours of work is tracked every day on the Smartstaff platform with clients including Raymonds, Enamor, Dixcy, and more.

“Over the past decade, smartphone penetration across India has triggered waves of new-age platforms disrupting large markets. We see Smartstaff leading the change by digitizing workplace processes for manufacturers, and enabling over 100 million blue-collar manufacturing workers to use their smartphones as an instrument of productivity with information on shifts, payouts, savings, jobs, and communication,” mentioned Bala Srinivasa, managing director, Arkam Ventures.

The company expects to have over 10,000 workers on its platform by the end of the year.