HourlyNerd, a Boston-based startup, aspires to be more than an on-demand staffing service for skilled employees. It wants to be a full-service platform for large companies to change the way they think about employees.
“If you think about a company today, it’s structured in the same way as 100 years ago,” says company co-CEO and co-founder Rob Biederman. HourlyNerd sees a future where companies make increasing use of on-demand workers.
That’s partly because it meets the needs of the company, who might not require a full time employee to complete a project, and partly for the workers, who might prefer the flexibility that project work brings.
To that end, HourlyNerd is in the process of updating the platform to include analytics and other services to help customers not only hire people on-demand, but manage their time, their work product and the customer staffing requirements over time.
At its heart today, HourlyNerd can provide customers with programming and other skilled staff for a short-term need without having to recruit and hire the talent themselves.
The idea, especially with the transition to enterprise clients, appears to be gaining some traction as the company announced a $22 million Series C round today led by General Catalyst Partners with participation from Highland Capital Partners, GE Ventures, Mark Cuban, Greylock Partners and Bob Doris of Accanto Partners.
This represents a hefty round for the firm, which prior to this had raised around $12 million in total. The investors seemed intrigued by the idea of taking the on-demand employee market to another level and they saw enough market potential here with a platform play, that it warranted a significant increase in investment to carry out the new vision.
It’s an idea that has merit. At the On-demand Economy conference at MIT last March, there was a lot of discussion about the changing way people will work in the future, and the impact this was having on infrastructure we’ve set up around work over the last 100 years. Speakers describe a changing economy in terms that sounded very much like HourlyNerd’s vision — where skilled workers move from project to project, rather than working for one company for a period of years.
That requires a whole new way of interacting with these employees including how to manage them, measure performance and incentivize these people.
The company, which currently has 65 employees, claims around 10 percent of the Fortune 500 as customers, so they are beginning to attract the very type of clients they hope to serve more broadly in the future. These include Pfizer and GE, which helped finance the round through its GE Ventures.