Hyr raises $1.6 million to help retailers embrace the gig economy

retail

Toronto-based Hyr has announced a $1.6 million CAD seed round led by Flybridge Capital Partners, with participation from Newark Venture Partners and XFactor Ventures.

This latest injection brings Hyr’s total funding to $2.9 million. Hyr’s platform allows restaurants and retailers to a worker to fill shifts on demand. Shift workers looking for extra money can scroll through postings that include pay rates, location, and include their desired schedule, while restaurants can post listings and view profiles of potential candidates. The service also lets users get paid at the end of each shift instantly and collect ‘UPoints,’ which can be redeemed for paid days off, or put towards personal goals like savings or health benefits.

“The market has shifted, and the underlying idea that drives Hyr is not new: using your smartphone to get a car, a place to stay, to trade stock,” said Erika Mozes, co-founder of Hyr. “What is new is that Hyr addresses a new market in the space: traditional hospitality and retail businesses. Once they realize that Hyr solves their biggest challenges — access to talent, fast, at the best possible price — there is not much more convincing to do.”

Since its launch last year, Hyr has attracted over 10,000 workers and 200 businesses like Carlsburg, SirCorp, and Hero Certified Burgers. Asked whether this platform can be a replacement for full-time workers, Mozes said that Hyr targets employees that already have full or part-time jobs that are looking for extra shifts to make more income.

“On the flip side, businesses using Hyr are looking to fill holes in their schedules – not to replace full-time employees. We also encourage businesses to use Hyr as a recruitment tool; we are not a temp agency, and we are thrilled if we are a connector for more permanent work.”

The company plans to use the funding for further expansion across the US and Canada and expanding to new industries.

“Information and office workers have had the chance, over the last 10 years, to benefit from more flexible work environments and more meaningful work, and now the shift economy can tap into that same opportunity,” said Jesse Middleton, a VC at Flybridge and co-founder of WeWork, in a Medium post. “I imagine a world, not too far off, where a simple tap of a button on your phone can take you to new places all over the world with a room from Airbnb, a car from Uber and a job from Hyr when you land.”

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