WorkerTech Orka raises £29m to support gig economy

WorkerTech startup Orka Technology Group has raised £29 million in its latest funding round to help scale up its wage access and work search products for shift workers.

The new funding was a mixture of debt financing from Sonovate and equity funding involving the British Business Bank Future Fund and existing investors, including former UK chief executive of Adecco Peter Searle.

This takes the total raised by Orka to £31.5m since the company was launched in 2017.

As well as growing Orka Pay, the Manchester-based startup will use the funding to double its headcount to 50 in 2021.

Launched last year, Orka Pay enables shift workers at partner organisations to withdraw up to 50 per cent of their wages as soon as they have earned them.

And Orka Works allows workers to find flexible and temporary employment with large organisations working in regulated industries such as security, cleaning and logistics.

It is used by over 50,000 people in the UK to find work and saw 150 per cent year-on-year revenue growth in Q3 last year, counting G4S and ISS among its client-base.

This year, the company will launch its third core product, Orka Check, to improve the process for worker background checks.

Tom Pickersgill, co-founder and chief executive of Orka, said: “Thanks to this funding we’ll be able to reach many more businesses and their employees in the coming year and improve the service that we can offer them.

“The worker landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade as more people are looking for work that fits around their life and want the entire process to be less onerous.”

The fundraising comes shortly after the firm was named in Tech Nation’s Upscale 6.0 accelerator programme.

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