German startup leviathan Rocket Internet
may have had a mixed 2016, but that’s certainly not preventing it from continuing to invest in new companies.
The latest startup to launch in Asia is Ushift, a marketplace for businesses to hire temporary staff. Ushift
will officially launch on January 16 with Singapore as its first port of call. It’s a brand-new venture in its own right.
Robinson Blanckaert, CEO of Ushift, tells Tech in Asia that the decision to target this niche was because existing processes for hiring short-term workers in Southeast Asia are fragmented and broken. There’s real demand from businesses like event management firms, restaurants, and catering outlets, but most recruiting is done through Facebook groups or word of mouth.
Rob explains they’re trying to engender a model that’s radically different from traditional short-term recruitment agencies.
“There are many [such agencies] which work with hotels and large hospitality players, and they do their jobs well, but they charge a year’s salary as commission. As a result, workers get paid less,” he says.
When the platform goes live on Monday, there will already be 500 jobseekers online – pre-screened and available for work immediately.
Conquering Southeast Asia
By industry standards, the Ushift
CEO is a Rocket Internet
veteran. He’s spent two years at the German incubator, previously heading beauty services marketplace Vaniday. He explains that the idea for such a service came to him during his interactions with salon and spa owners across Southeast Asia.
After encouragement from Rocket’s core management team in Singapore, Rob discussed his plans with other startups in cities like Bangkok and Jakarta to get feedback on the business model.
“Rocket isn’t interested in just one country, [the idea] has to be scalable. Very early on, we understood there was a need for this platform,” he says.
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here.