Hourly workers fill about 60% of all jobs (or 78 million) in the U.S., and the average HR department devotes as much as 80% of their work schedule to engaging with and onboarding them. That’s a hefty chunk of time each week, but the alternative — dispensing with people management altogether — is far worse.
Fortunately, there’s a third choice in Spur, a Huntsville, Alabama startup developing a cloud-hosted human resource management platform. It today announced that it’s raised $8 million in a series A funding round led by Third Prime with participation from Mark Bezos (who’ll join the board) and Blue Ridge Capital’s John Griffin. Spur CEO Glenn Clayton says the money will help to accelerate its growth within the hospitality industry, bolster its executive and corporate team, and expand its service to Dallas and additional metro areas.
“We started Spur with a mission to provide workers greater access to opportunity and ultimately improve their quality of life,” said Clayton. “We’re doing that by partnering with businesses and other organizations to take on all the responsibilities associated with managing HR and payroll for their hourly workforces and then ensuring those workers are well taken care of over the course of their employment.”
Spur’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite provides hotels, restaurants, and other businesses with an app-based scheduler they can use to slot employees into weekly schedules and approve timesheets. Workers see post-shift earnings within the app. Spur becomes the official employer of record, enabling it to extend benefits and services like health care plans, savings accounts, and paid sick leave, as well as facilitate skills and background checks, screener questionnaires, and W-4 and I-9 verification.
Additionally, Spur hosts a training library and an online jobs portal that matches workers with side gigs, the latter of which outlines qualifications (i.e., permit requirements), pay rates, locations, and other pertinent job details.
Spur says that since launching in 2017, it’s added “thousands” of workers to its platform across multiple cities including Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; Houston, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Birmingham, Montgomery, and Huntsville, Alabama.
“We believe most businesses want to treat their workers well — we’re just making it easier and more cost-effective than ever before to deliver on that goal,” Clayton said. “Third Prime, Mark Bezos, and our other investors joining the Spur mission further validates the importance of what we have built and the enormous market demand for better ways to manage employment for America’s growing hourly workforce.”
Spur is in some ways like Jitjatjo, a New York-based startup that offers an end-to-end web staffing platform with a two-sided marketplace through which businesses can book workers with as little as one hour’s notice. Jyve also pairs customers with workers from a “talent marketplace” — albeit strictly for retail customers. Talent-finding app Pared is a closer match, in that it similarly targets the service and hospitality industry, but it’s currently only available in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.
Despite the competition, though, Third Prime managing partner Wes Barton contends that Spur is well-positioned for growth.
“Spur is redefining how businesses manage and provide for their hourly workforce,” Barton said. “We have been impressed with Spur’s leadership, platform, unique value proposition, and unwavering dedication to helping improve the quality of life for millions of hard-working Americans. We are looking forward to continued momentum as more companies and their workers experience Spur firsthand.”
In addition to is Huntsville headquarters, Spur has offices in New York and Chicago.