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Staffjoy launched in 2015 with the aim of giving small businesses the technology to improve scheduling of hourly workers. Today, the company announced the next phase of its offering and shared that it has raised a $1.2 million seed round led by Caffeinated Capital.

Additional participants in the latest funding round include Brainchild Holdings and Haystack Fund.

The company is a byproduct of a scheduling algorithm project founders Andrew Hess and Philip Thomas worked out while enrolled at Washington University at St. Louis. In its current form, it tackles the otherwise manual process of scheduling workers in shifts. Employees enter their availability each week, and the system’s algorithm does all the calculations and logistical work needed to make sure that the right number of workers are in place each day, accounting for whether they’re full-time or part-time.

Staffjoy says it has improved upon its system with an updated web app that uses a text message bot to send employees their new schedule for the week, as well as any pertinent updates. Workers no longer need to download an app to figure out when they’re reporting for duty.

“Our user research shows that the reason so many businesses use paper or spreadsheets to schedule is that workers don’t use smartphones or even email. We found text messaging to be the best way to engage with employees,” Thomas said in a statement. “In fact, we found that many managers screenshot existing scheduling apps and text the schedule to their team.”

The seed investment will allow Staffjoy to further accelerate its growth. The company is one of the first participants of Y Combinator’s now shuttered Fellowship class. Staffjoy had previously raised $12,000 through YC in 2015 and an undisclosed bridge round last year.


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