Blue-Collar Career Site Jobcase Raises $100M to Advocate for Workers
The social-media jobs platform Jobcase is raking in $100 million in growth funding to expand its blue-collar-oriented workforce site into a place where employees not only can host their qualifications but also can organize and advocate for better treatment from employers.
Jobcase founder and CEO Fred Goff says the Cambridge, MA-based startup wants workers’ reviews of local employers to nudge how prospective workers apply to the firms, as well as how consumers view the companies.
“Capitalism is a little out of balance, with CEOs being paid 500 times the median worker,” Goff says. His response is to “surface the good employers” and “take business to employers who treat workers well and starve employers who don’t treat workers well.”
“Through that advance I think we can bring some balance back to capitalism. … This isn’t a confrontational ’50s, ’60s, ’70s union thing,” Goff says, adding that he doesn’t think picket lines work like they used to.
In one example, Jobcase connected 400 Uber drivers in Houston concerned about a fellow driver who was kicked off the platform because his profile picture was old. The concerns aggregated on Jobcase were sent to the Uber regional manager, and the driver was reinstated and paid for the days he was kept from working through the ride-hailing app.
But there’s more to the job-site company than being an open-access LinkedIn with a hammer and sickle.
Jobcase says its site is one of the largest destinations for job search and career advice. It differentiates itself from the likes of LinkedIn by targeting blue-collar workers and those without a college degree. Jobcase says it aims to tap into the collective experience of its 100 million users to help others weather the changing tides of the modern workforce, where jobs come and go and the prime skills of the past turn stale at a quicker pace than ever.
To do this, Jobcase tries to connect users in similar situations—not just those in close arms reach through a predetermined rung of social connections. For example, a woman posted to Jobcase that she’d applied to Walmart again and again but never had landed an interview. The inquiry was served to users who had recently landed jobs at Walmart, and their replies walked her through the best course of action. (Go to the kiosk in the morning during off-hours and don’t leave until you find a manager.)
Goff says the $100 million in funding, led by Providence Strategic Growth, will help it accelerate product growth by building out machine learning architecture to serve more relevant content to users. And it plans to develop new integrations and APIs (application programming interfaves) with other job platforms. Jobcase previously raised $18.5 million in a Series A round it capped off in February 2018; Providence Equity Partners and Savano Capital Partners led that funding.
The company has 180 employees currently, Goff says, and plans a 50 percent growth in headcount this year.
“We have one foot in social media and one foot in human capital,” Goff says. “Almost every competitor in the human capital space is primarily focused on employers—that’s where the revenue is—and we are absolutely focused on individuals and empowering them.”