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Jungle Ventures-backed BetterPlace makes 4th acquisition, buys OkayGo
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BetterPlace Safety Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a technology platform for blue-collar workforce management, on Tuesday said it has acquired gig workforce management platform, OkayGo for an undisclosed sum.  

This is Bengaluru-based BetterPlace’s fourth acquisition so far. The company acquired Oust Labs, Aasaanjobs and Waah Jobs in October last year.    

Pravin Agarwala, co-founder of BetterPlace, told VCCircle that the deal is a mix of cash and stock and the entire team of OkayGo has been retained.   

Through this acquisition, BetterPlace will aim to provide opportunities for India’s 90 million strong gig-workforce by enhancing ‘BetterPlace Select,’ the company’s short-term, long-term and task-based workforce management offering, it said in a statement.    

“Acquisition for us is a part of our strategy from a perspective of our overall growth. When we look at an acquisition, it’s a question of deal vs buy. Should we build it ourselves or should we buy something which will help us faster to the market and create more value for our customer base, that’s a strategy that we look at,” Agarwala added.  

Through a marketplace model, OkayGo and BetterPlace will aim to narrow the demand and supply gap for gig workforce in India and solve the inefficiencies of idle time and attrition. This integration will enable frontline workers to increase their daily and hourly earnings by an average of 25-30%. 

BetterPlace was founded in 2015 by Agarwala and Uday Singh. Its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform helps companies to manage the entire lifecycle of their blue-collar workforce by providing them services such as hiring, background verification and digital onboarding of the worker.       

It also offers training, attendance management, payroll services and compliance services. 

Meanwhile, OkayGo, founded in 2019, is a tech platform that focuses on increasing earnings per hour of frontline gig workers. The company curates high earning opportunities for different times in a day so that workers can work across multiple organizations and increase their earnings.    

Its client portfolio includes companies like Flipkart, Swiggy, Zomato, JioMart, Zepto and Apollo.    

“Despite having a large employable pool, enterprises in India are now facing an acute shortage of skilled workforce. The only way to solve this problem is to provide a mutually beneficial marketplace geared towards enabling people to be gainfully employed.     

This acquisition is a major step towards that direction, allowing us to inch closer to our goal of building a better world for enterprises and frontline workers in India,” said Agarwala.    

While speaking to VCCircle, he said,“During the last two years, we have grown almost 20 times in terms of revenue. We are today at an annual run rate (ARR) of $100 million.” 

The acquisition by BetterPlace comes at a time when the ecosystem is struggling with a cash reserve issue due to drying up of funding on the back of market volatility and geopolitical tensions. Startups, in order to ensure sustenance over the medium-term, are cutting costs, primarily, leading to pink slips.  

In recent months, with several venture capitalists and funds raising the red flag over a “long winter” ahead, startups across sectors have laid off 7,000-8,000 employees so far. 

When asked about any layoff plan, Agarwala added, “For the next 12 months, we don’t see any layoffs. Infact, we are still hiring people and are contributing to our growth space. At EBITDA (earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization)-level, we will be profitable by 2024.    

“We started OkayGo with a clear vision to empower half a billion people to get flexible gig-opportunities and provide businesses with high quality talent instantly. BetterPlace would provide us a fillip to achieve our vision,” said Tomonaga Tejima, Co-founder at OkayGo.     

“With enterprises revisiting their operating models, there is a huge scope for creating new gig-jobs and scaling the existing ones. This acquisition would not only provide more opportunities for frontline workers, but also revolutionize business operations in a significant way,” Saurav Chawla, Co-Founder, OkayGo added.     

In September last year, BetterPlace raised $24 million in its Series C funding round. The investment round was led by returning investor Jungle Ventures and CX Partners.    

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