SAN FRANCISCO — Sh1ft, Inc. (Shift One), today announced initial seed funding of $5.2 million, led by City Light Capital and JAM Fund.
Shift One was founded in 2019 by former Uber executives to address two fundamental challenges of the labor economy: the lack of a robust online marketplace for blue-collar jobs and a technology solution for companies looking to hire those workers. The company currently employs more than 25,000 workers and offers solutions in all 50 states and Latin America.
Initially focusing on push-button solutions to quickly deploy entire teams of workers for last-mile logistics and delivery, e-commerce fulfillment and large-scale event management, Shift One is redefining the gig economy to build sustainable, long-term careers for workers and capital-efficient solutions for companies.
“The labor market today is broken. The working class is hard pressed to find their next steady job at a fair rate, and supply chains struggle to source the right workers to fulfill demand, especially in the last mile,” said Founder and CEO Jason Radisson. “Shift One is a new model that efficiently connects workers with rich employment opportunities, while providing companies with ready-to-work teams without the traditional overhead. Our cutting-edge approach is a competitive advantage for companies and furthers our long-term goal of becoming the largest ethical source of labor and employment in the world.”
This sector of the labor economy suffers from an information deficit. The lack of robust job profiles means the best workers are significantly undervalued as companies attempt to compensate for a perceived skill gap with sheer hiring volume. Shift One solves this inefficiency by identifying the best available talent and matching it to employers’ specific needs. Companies can do more with less, and the best workers are better compensated for their skills.
“Shift One turns the labor problem of adverse selection on its head by identifying, assembling and upskilling top talent and putting it to work where it can have the biggest impact,” said JAM Fund principal and Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen. “Gig work has been defined by seasonality and availability — neither are particularly good for workers. I’m excited to watch how this new approach can bring workers along as we tackle last mile and on-demand labor needs.”
COVID-19 has created a host of new challenges for e-commerce and logistics businesses, as demand for last-mile planning and services has exploded. Companies lack the data and expertise to quickly source high-performing teams. Shift One offers an asset-lite way to flexibly scale local operational needs.
Shift One provides a suite of productivity solutions — time, taxes, attendance, productivity and work-order management — so that companies can focus on their customers. Early adopters include Amazon, NASCAR, the Consumer Electronics Show, Weee! and Mensajeros Urbanos.
Equally important, Shift One’s solutions bridge a growing gap for workers otherwise left behind by the evolving workplace. The logistics industry employs nearly 10 million people in the United States alone. Consistent access to work and opportunities for growth are a critical way to erase roadblocks and address inequality in a rapidly changing employment environment.
“In the wake of COVID-19, stable jobs are more important than ever, especially in the massive logistics and warehouse sectors,” said Jeff Rinehart, partner, City Light Capital. “We are proud to work with Shift One and believe the company’s model can be truly transformational for millions of blue collar workers around the world — creating a more straightforward path to the employment opportunities that are so critical for supporting overall economic recovery.”
Shift One’s funding will enable additional scaling of its technology solutions and fuel further geographic expansion. Leaders in one soon-to-launch market are excited about the local economic impact potential that accompanies a skilled, ready-to-work labor force.
“Blue collar jobs have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19, and we view those workers as critical for Miami to continue to be a sought-after home for employers and a destination for those seeking jobs with a real future,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “We believe Shift One’s approach is a rare win-win-win. Workers receive fairly compensated jobs with the opportunity to grow and develop. Companies get access to a steady, predictable source of high-quality labor. And Miami benefits from the virtuous circle of higher employment and strong local businesses.”
Other key investors in Shift One’s initial funding round include Ventura Investments, K50 Ventures and Human Ventures, as well as individual investor Felipe Villamarin. Shift One is headquartered in San Francisco.