Sabbar, a Saudi-based tech startup and a pioneer in blue-collar flexible staffing in MENA, has raised US$4m for its pre-series A round that was led by STV with additional investment from past backers, Derayah VC and SEEDRA Ventures.
Realizing how big of a pain it is to hire and staff blue-collar workers in high turnover industries -retail, hospitality and entertainment- with 70% employee turnover rate in the region, the startup decided to take the heavy lifting by relieving customers from the associated administrative costs by streamlining a lengthy process that typically includes sourcing, interviews, vetting, training, placement, shift scheduling, worker payments, and everything in between.
Founded early in 2019 by Mohamed T. Ibrahim, Abdulrahman AlMudaiheem, and Afnan Sherbeeni with an aim to “create a world where everyone can work”. The team has been disrupting blue-collar staffing in targeted industries by understanding the pains of the demand and the motivation of the supply in a hyper localized approach.
As the pandemic made businesses more aware of its operational cost and adopt a flexible and cost-conscious culture, Sabbar has managed to have a big part in a healing economy post COVID-19 by launching a two-sided marketplace matching businesses with high quality flexible staff. The platform has been growing at a monthly rate of 40%, fulfilling shifts for over 150 customers such as IKEA, Toys “R” Us, Domino’s Pizza, and Tamimi Markets while ensuring high quality workers with an on-time arrival rate of 96.8%.
Sabbar has been focusing its efforts on building a scalable technological platform that aligns with the future of work. With heavy focus on a data-driven approach, the startup had scaled its operations to serve thousands of shifts. Currently, the platform is able to deploy workers to businesses within a 60-min window from the request time and maintain a fulfillment rate reliability of 98%.
As hiring blue-collar staff remains one of the toughest challenges globally, Sabbar has a mission to fuel the growth of the gig economy in the region by deploying the fund to expand its solution to capture a market of US$11bn of temporary blue-collar staffing across MENA and Pakistan, to disrupt staffing blue-collar in the age of gig economy. Sabbar is expanding its scope to cover warehousing, logistics, and tourism industries. With more than 70,000 workers on their registration waiting list, the startup is also aiming at changing the cultural status quo for how people perceive blue-collar jobs and provide its workforce with opportunities to upskill, and get full-time perks and benefits.
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