Michelle HammondFollow on twitter www.startupsmart.com.au
Recruitment platform OneShift in bid to raise up to $30 million
Recruitment start-up OneShift is hoping to raise up to $30 million to fund its expansion into New Zealand and south-east Asia, with US venture capital firms among the list of possible investors.
OneShift, led by 22-year-old Genevieve George, describes itself as a game-changing employment service and an Australian-first in the way it searches for and recruits workers.
As the name suggests, OneShift allows employers to hire staff on a one-shift basis.
George came up with the concept while travelling around Europe, where she identified a gap in the market. She saw there was a need for people to secure work on a short-term basis in order to cover basic living costs.
OneShift does away with the traditional resume format, encouraging prospective employees to upload video resumes. Employers are charged a flat $22 when they hire someone, which can occur up to two hours before a shift.
George is the daughter of Philip George, who, in addition to being executive chairman of OneShift, heads up property development firm The George Group.
In 2004, Philip sold the family business, Mrs Crocket’s Kitchen, to IronBridge Capital for a reported $110 million.
She initially funded OneShift with her father’s help. It has since attracted more than 70,000 users, with a number of high-profile employers including Hungry Jacks.
Having set its sights on New Zealand and South-East Asia, OneShift is now looking to raise funds, enlisting the help of Oaktower Advisory.
Recruitment companies, Australian media conglomerates and US venture capital firms have all been flagged as potential investors. But George says she’s looking for more than just money.
“I think you can find a partner with cash anytime. It’s really important we find a partner with not just cash. We’re really trying to find a partner who can bring something besides cash to the table,” she says.
“It’s [also] really important to find someone where we stay in control.”
Oaktower managing director Oliver Klotz told the AFR he is looking to raise between $20 million and $30 million in return for 20-40% of OneShift, with George to retain control.
She says the move into New Zealand and Asia should be fairly straightforward.
“We’re doing New Zealand early this year… And then looking to south-east Asia at the end of this year or the start of next year,” she says.
“If you look at the model, it’s just about matching employees to employers. Everyone needs work or workers to develop their business.”
Beyond New Zealand and Asia, George says she would love to see the company expand to America, the United Kingdom and Europe. But for now, Australia remains the primary focus.
“We can go anywhere but you need to get a really strong foundation at home, and what’s close to home, before you can start reaching out further and further,” she says.
“I see OneShift as a lifestyle choice for people. It’s about having that flexibility for job seekers as well as employers.
“The world’s going to get smaller and smaller, so it’s about moving with people’s lifestyles.”