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App Where Vetted Freelancers Can Find Hospitality and Events Work Paying $9.25ph Raises £2.65m From A Lord & A Boxer


What do heavyweight boxer David Haye David Cameron’s former enterprise advisor, Lord Young, have in common?

Both have invested in London Tech start-up Syft, a recruitment app that helps employers find vetted temporary workers in the hospitality and events sectors.

The start-up has raised a £2.65m seed funding round; other backers include Profounders Capital, angel investor Mike Kershaw and the founders of Gamesys, Velocity, and Cloud volumes, reports.

“The size of the seed-round is a great indication not only of the size of our addressable market, but also of what the team at Syft have been able to achieve in such a short space of time”, commented Syft’s founder Novo Abakare, adding;

“A large amount of this round will continue to go towards ongoing development of the platform as we look to expand across London.”

Boxer David Haye said: “supporting British entrepreneurs is really important to me, especially those who are the driving force behind tech and growth-focused businesses.

“I not only invested in Syft’s vision but I also recognised the company’s work ethic and dedication to success.”

Syft describes itself as “a revolutionary, online recruitment platform in the hospitality sector, connecting London’s top brands with vetted and trained staff.”

The platform vets and then trains the jobseekers who apply to be on the platform – according to the company the team have “27 years working in hospitality including being a personal butler for the Danish Royal Family”.

Syft takes a 15% cut of wages paid plus National Insurance contributions. “So far we have saved our clients 55% on agency fees compared to their traditional relationships”, they say. Every job booked through the app is fully insured, but workers, who can expect to earn an average wage of £9.25 per hour, with some jobs paying as much as £20ph, must take responsibility for maintaining a safe and healthy working environment”.

The app allows workers to take control of when, where and how long they choose to work, and can view their potential employers; they can also complete training exercises which Syft says will help workers improve their existing skills and gain access to better paid roles.

Jack Beaman, the other co-founder besides Abakare, recently told Recruitment International:

“Whilst at university I found it hard to believe that the recruitment agency employing me on behalf of top hotels were earning such huge fees on top of my wage, whilst providing the employer with minimal control and choice over the staff they received. Furthermore, I could not choose where or when I wanted to work. Combined with my years working in a tech start-up, I feel strongly that technology is set to have a huge impact across hospitality and recruitment and believe Syft is the app to kick start this.”

The app launched in January this year – HT couldn’t find any numbers on traction / uptake to date.

The company’s advisory board includes the Hon Lord Young of Graffham, who oversaw the introduction of the StartUp Loans company, which has subsequently helped more than 36,000 people to start working for themselves, and Mike Kershaw, former Chairman of integrated events company The Concerto Group, and the former President of the UK Chapter of ISES, who has set up his own business, Kershaw Partners .

Another Advisor, Alex McDonald, is Co-founder and Co-CEO of Velocity, a digital dining app to allow guests to book food in advance of arrival and pay, which has raised more than $17m of venture capital money and has recently moved its headquarters from London to New York.


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