The start-up aims to simply the way shift workers typically re-arrange their work hours — texting or calling each other, or posting on a group Facebook page.
Shyft Technologies, a Seattle-based company that created a mobile app to help shift workers trade shifts, has landed $1.5 million in seed funding.
Madrona Venture Group invested $500,000, while additional funds came from angel investors including Heather Redman, Russell Okung, Edgar Martinez and T.A. McCann, according to Shyft.
The money will be used to focus on growing Shyft, including hiring more people, said co-founder and CEO Brett Patrontasch.
Currently, shift workers typically swap shifts by texting or calling each other, or posting on a group Facebook page. Shyft aims to simplify that with an app in which workers with a common employer can post requests to swap shifts and respond to fill shifts.
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“Shift workers want flexibility in their schedules but until now changing schedules required a convoluted and time-consuming chain of disconnected social media channels and phone calls,” Patrontasch said in a news release. “Shyft connects workers directly with others at their location and lets them quickly and easily exchange and cover shifts.”
Shyft’s user base has grown by 400 percent over the past three months, with more than 26,000 hours of work swapped through the app, according to the company.
More than 12,000 Starbucks baristas, 7,500 McDonald’s workers and 3,500 Old Navy employees are registered users, Patrontasch said.
Founded by Patrontasch, Daniel Chen, Chris Pitchford, and Kyle Liu, Shyft was part of the 2016 Seattle class at Techstars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator.
This is the fifth Seattle Techstars company that Madrona Venture Group has invested in.
“Madrona is investing in this seed round because we like the team, see the massive market opportunity and are impressed by their early growth,” Soma Somasegar, a venture partner at Madrona, said of Shyft in an online post. “Shyft’s viral adoption and growth is impressive.”