Workforce manager Smartstaff raises $4.3 mn from Blume Ventures, Nexus, others
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Blue-collar workforce management platform Smartstaff (previously Qikwork Services Pvt Ltd) has raised $4.3 million in funding from existing investors Blume Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Arkam Ventures, as well as Gemba Capital and some angel investors. 

In June this year, early-stage venture capital funds Blume Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners and a few angel investors had invested $3-5 million (Rs 22-37 crore). 

Bengaluru-based Smartstaff aims to help businesses hire and manage their blue-collar workforce by digitising 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. 

With a staff of 60 people currently, Smartstaff was founded in October 2020 by four co-founders and ex-colleagues at Runnr – Arpit Dave, Viral Chhajer, Gnanesh Chilukuri and Aravind Reddy.  Blume Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners were also early backers of Runnr, which was acquired by Zomato Ltd, recently-listed food-tech delivery firm. 

 “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 Dave, CEO of 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, ” said Chhajer. 

Smartstaff aims to solve challenges of poor and inefficient workplace practices, management systems and high attrition, with a mobile-based workforce management and staffing solution.  

It claims to help the manufacturing industry upgrade from legacy processes, and 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 everyday on the Smartstaff platform with clients including Raymonds, Enamor, Dixcy and more. The company expects to have over 10,000 workers on its platform by the end of the year,” the statement said. 

Sameer Brij Verma, managing director, Nexus Venture Partners, said, “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 work-force management platform, SmartStaff aims to drive game-changing efficiencies in the way manufacturing and supply chain companies source, retain, upskill, pay and incentivise their staff.’’

Similar deals

Smartstaff is among a growing number of startups operating in the broader human resources and performance management segment in the country. 

Last year,  Sequoia Capital led a Series A funding round in employee management platform PagarBook in December. Human resources technology startup Leena AI had raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Greycroft Partners in November. 

In October last year, Zimyo Consulting Pvt Ltd, which operates an eponymous human resources-technology startup, raised $1.5 million in a seed funding round. 

Earlier last year, homegrown private equity firm WestBridge Capital led a $30 million round of investment in US-based human resources technology company Phenom People Inc.

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