A Melbourne startup building an on-demand recruitment platform that’s aiming to be the fastest and simplest solution for people to find work will launch this month after securing $1 million in seed funding from agtech entrepreneur Van Luong last year.
“Our goal is to really change the way people look at employment globally,” Weploy head of growth Tony Wu tells StartupSmart.
The startup, which was founded in mid-2016 by Nick La and Vince Luong, provides a marketplace for vetted, experienced and police-checked job candidates to step in when businesses need someone to fill in a role at short notice.
Weploy, which will come out of beta in a “couple of weeks”, has a waitlist of more than 8000 hopeful job candidates and just under 500 business clients, says Wu.
Its beta version is already being used by a number of organisations in Melbourne, including RMIT University, VICE Australia and General Assembly. The startup is also running a pilot in Sydney.
Wu believes Weploy solves a massive problem that many industries face.
He says La and Luong, who have backgrounds in hospitality and retail, have personally experienced the frustration of replacing staff on short notice when workers don’t show up or call in sick.
“It kind of dawned on them that they’re in completely different industries but they faced the same problem,” says Wu.
According to research from IBISWorld, the temporary staff services industry in Australia is a $20 billion market.
“People are obviously a very important asset,” says Wu.
Weploy’s investor Van Luong, whose global seafood company Viet-Uc employs 3000 people, was instantly drawn to the solution, says Wu.
The startup secured an initial cash injection of $400,000 from Van Luong to build a minimum viable product in mid-2016, and the results from this led him to inject a further $600,000 into the venture at the end of the year, Wu says.
The startup also has a savvy group of advisors on call, including Rotten Tomatoes co-founder Patrick Lee and Redbubble’s former chief technology officer Paul Coia.
While there are other recruitment services and apps in the market, Wu believes Weploy offers job seekers a unique value proposition.
“We can actually help so many businesses grow through providing competitive resources,” says Wu.
The startup generates revenue by charging businesses a fee of 18% of the hourly rate paid to workers booked through its platform.
“We set the rate and what happens is we pay the candidate 10 percent above the industry award rate,” he says.
Wu says Weploy’s key focus is on connecting businesses with temporary workers quickly without sacrificing quality, while also enabling people to live on-demand lifestyles.
Enabling people to secure temporary job assignments anywhere in the world, he says, is a key mission for Weploy because the startup believes it will drive choice, flexibility and freedom to pursue travel and entrepreneurship.
“Within Australia, there’s a lot of agencies out there and there are some platforms out there but no one is really owning that space … over the next 12 months we want to be the clear market leader,” says Wu.
*This article was updated at 10am on April 13, 2017.