Helpster, a Thailand-based company that helps blue collar workers find jobs, announced today it has raised a US$2.1 million Seed Round led by Convergence Ventures.
Wavemaker Partners and other unnamed strategic investors also participated in the round.
The money will be used to accelerate product development as well as support the company’s recent expansion into Indonesia.
“We are very excited about the next phase in our journey as we expand into Indonesia, and are honoured to have the support of both Convergence and Wavemaker as we work to make it easier for businesses and job seekers to make valuable connections, and improve the overall efficiency of the labour market,” said Helpster Co-founder and CTO John Srivorakul in a statement.
Helpster works by allowing people to post gigs, part-time jobs and full-time staffing opportunities to its curated platform of workers from industries like F&B, events, cleaning and retail. Helpster is promoting speed as differentiating factor as it says it can connect people to the correct workers in its area with minutes.
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“We started Helpster after speaking with many businesses in these sectors who still cite hiring and staffing as their biggest pain point in running their business,” said Mathew Ward, Helpster Co-Founder CEO in an official statement.
“They were looking for a solution that enabled them to tap into the large labour supply quickly and cost efficiently, and traditional methods such as job boards or agencies weren’t fast enough and just didn’t deliver the quality of workers they required,” he added.
Helpster is not a first-mover in this industry and will be competing with other hiring apps both in Thailand and regionally. Helpster is more focussed on the F&B and hospitality and offers jobs like ‘data entry’ and ‘customer service’.
Those of us in Southeast Asia would probably associate ServisHero — the Malaysian startup that entered Thailand in March with a US$2.7 million funding — with the term ‘on-demand jobs’. However, calling Helpster a competitor would not be fully accurate. ServisHero focusses more on gig-work, and it targets cleaners, handymen and repair services. Meanwhile, Helpster is more focussed on recruiting temp workers and full-time employees.
Also, in Thailand, Fixzy is an ‘uber for handymen’ startup that has raised a US$300,000 seed round in June. It is more niched and focuses on one-off jobs.
So while both ServisHero and Fixzy competes in the ‘on-demand job’ business in Thailand, they operate in slightly different industries.
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It is worth pointing out that the Founding team of Ward and Srivorakul have an impressive background in entrepreneurship.
Ward was the CEO of Admax Network, an online advertising company that was bought by Komli Media in 2012.
Srivorakul was Co-founder at Admax and was also part of the founding team of Ensogo, Ardent Capital, and aCommerce with his brothers Paul and Tom Srivorakul.
“The enormous, fast growing F&B and hospitality sector in Indonesia in particular will benefit from their mobile app-based solution and we’re excited to join them on this journey to create a revolutionary hiring platform for the region,” said Adrian Li, Managing Partner Convergence Ventures in a statement.
Helpster launched in Thailand in April 2016 and now has 35 staff in Bangkok and Jakarta.
Pear Moskwa, who was previously the head Grab in Thailand, was recently hired to be the new Country CEO for Thailand.
Disclaimer: Convergence Ventures is an investor in Optimatic Pte. Ltd. the parent company of e27.