Orka secures €33.5 mn from Sonovate, British Business Bank Future Fund
By Megha Bhattacharya
Manchester-based startup Orka today announced that it has secured €33.5 million from Sonovate, the British Business Bank Future Fund as well as from existing investors including former UK CEO of Adecco Peter Searle. The company will use the funding to drive further UK expansion, double headcount to 50 in 2021, and fuel the rapid growth of its earned wage access product Orka Pay.
Tom Pickersgill, co-founder and CEO of Orka, said, “Four years ago we set out to transform the experience of hourly paid workers, who make up 85% of the global workforce. What we’re doing is unique in this sector, and 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. More people are looking for work that fits around their life and want the entire process to be less onerous. Our success since launching proves that there is real appetite amongst businesses and employees for an innovative alternative to the traditional recruitment, onboarding and payment model, saving both time and money.”
Orka Pay enables shift workers at partner organisations to withdraw up to 50% of their wages as soon as they have earned them, providing an alternative to high-interest loans and credit card debt. This year, the company will launch its third core product, Orka Check, to improve the process for worker background checks.
Peter Searle, existing investor and former CEO of Adecco, said, “Having followed Orka’s journey closely for a few years now, it’s clear that this is a company truly shifting the dial up when it comes to temporary work. They have rightly identified an important gap in the market, as more people seek out flexible employment that fits around their lifestyle, and they have unquestionably established themselves as a leader in worker tech. I’m very excited to be supporting them as they enter their next stage of growth.”
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