Werk, a hiring platform for migrant construction workers, has secured $1.3 million in funding. Change Ventures led the round.
TALLINN, ESTONIA: MAY 2022 – Werk, a platform that enables companies to hire skilled and vetted migrant construction workers, handling everything from recruitment, verification, and relocation, has raised a $1.3M pre-seed round led by Change Ventures, one of the leading early-stage funds in the Baltics.
Participants in the round, which is among the biggest ever pre-seeds in European HR and construction tech, include Foundamental VC the largest global investor covering the Built-World – ConstructionTech and architecture, engineering and design technology, and angel investors Anthony Danon and Carmen Alfonso-Rico (Cocoa VC), Declan Kelly (Foreword VC), Gonzalo Manrique (Ironhack), and Andreas Klinger (On Deck CTO and Head of Remote at AngelList).
Co-founded in Tallinn, Estonia in 2020 by Martin Kalamees (CEO), Marion Kallakas (COO), and Markus Tarn (CTO), Werk will use the investment to further expand its team, focus on product development and marketing.
Werk brings transparency to the often exploitative world of cross-border blue collar contracting; supporting workers relocating to other countries by automating paperwork and visa documentation, and only works with companies that guarantee they will provide workers with the same payment terms, treatment, and protection conditions as they would if they were a local.
For contractors, once they input the skills they require on-site, the platform uses AI to match them with suitable, high-skilled workers who have been vetted by industry experts. Once the worker has been hired, Werk handles HR and payroll too.
With recent 20% month-on-month growth, the startup has already reached over 2,000 verified and vetted construction workers and has customers within Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Werk is developing and testing its cross-border relocation functionality, which automates visa and residence permit processes, the opening of bank accounts, flight tickets, accommodation, access to safe financial services, and support for their families back home. In addition, the startup is testing a social feature which allows workers to speak with one another, receive advice, ask questions about living and working within different countries, and consume relevant construction-related content such as tips and tricks.