Flexa, a female-founded tech startup, raises $2.9M to demystify flexible work and bring transparency to the global hiring market
In the summer of 2021, a record 4.3 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in what some are calling the beginning of the “Great Resignation.” It was one of the highest “quit rates” ever recorded since the government started keeping track two decades ago.
Experts offered many insights including workers not wanting to go back to the office due to the fear of getting sick, flexibility, and work-life balance. A recent survey shows that many workers prefer the flexibility of working remotely to getting stuck in traffic for about two to three hours every day. However, it’s also difficult for job seekers to know which companies provide the best flexible work policies.
Enter Flexa Careers, a flexible working platform that vets and verifies companies’ flexible working policies, to create transparency for job seekers about what’s on offer. Unlike the traditional job platform, Flexa has flipped the hiring process on its head by enabling companies to showcase what their working environments offer when it comes to flexibility and benefits. Flexa enables companies to be discovered by candidates who want to know up-front how the company operates and get a transparent look at what its working policies are before applying for a role.
Today, the London-based announced it has raised $2.9 million (£2.3 million) in a seed round to expand its global reach. The round was led by Ada Ventures and joined by Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund, angel syndicate HERmesa, and a wide group of angel investors. In conjunction with the funding, Flexa said that Check Warner, Partner at Ada Ventures will join its board.
Founded in early 2020 by Molly Johnson-Jones, Maurice O’Brien, and Tim Leppard, Flexa Careers now has over 450,000 users, and more than 150 companies headquartered all over the world have been approved to feature on the platform. Flexa Careers has already been used by candidates across 70 countries, but their core audience is centred in the UK and Ireland, where they originally launched. This funding will therefore be used to expand and solidify their global reach. Flexa clients include Allianz, FARFETCH, Carwow, and Elvie.
The company was inspired by Molly’s experience of asking a former employer to work from home one day per week, to help accommodate a chronic health condition. Within ten days of making the request, Molly was sacked. Her subsequent job hunt was fraught with anxiety, with few employers offering clarity on their home working or flexible hours policies. This approach, which leaves candidates disempowered and in the dark, prompted Molly, Maurice and Tim to create a better way of finding genuinely flexible companies.
Flexa vets and verifies companies through a two-stage benchmarking process; looking at everything from their approach to working location, through to what benefits are on offer, and then surveying how their current employees feel about working there.
Companies are then approved to showcase their jobs on the platform and people can filter opportunities by these criteria to find their perfect working environment in seconds.
73% of candidates say flexibility is non-negotiable and people are 257% more likely to apply to a company through Flexa versus a job traditional platform, according to Flexa’s research with YouGov. Flexa is enabling companies to build their brands as flexible, empowering employers, whilst increasing the discoverability of their vacancies and their ability to appeal to a more diverse audience.
“Until now, there has been nowhere to go to find out which companies offer the working environment that someone wants or needs”, says Flexa founder Molly Johnson-Jones.
She adds: “This means candidates either have to ask during the interview process – with which the majority of people are uncomfortable, and leads to hours in wasted applications and interviews if it’s not the right fit – or, worse again, accept a job and hope for the best.
“In the modern working world, that’s just not good enough. Flexa Careers solves this problem by only featuring companies who meet a certain standard of flexibility and who are willing to be upfront about what they offer.”
Molly also added, “The world of work is changing rapidly and we’re seeing people demand more when it comes to how and where they work. Our user numbers have a sky-rocketed month on month since launch, as people are no longer willing to put up with inflexible working environments. In a tight labor market, engaged and progressive employers are winning talent by offering more choice and autonomy – these are the companies embracing the Flexa model.
“I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to raise this funding, which means we can help more people access the information that they truly care about during their job search, and get more companies Flexified. I’m also really proud that over 50% of our investors in this round are women and I can’t wait to work with this esteemed group to grow the business.”
Check Warner, Partner at Ada Ventures, said: “At Ada we look for companies which could reach one billion people and we believe Flexa can change the way that billions of people find the right job for them. In the last two years there has been a fundamental shift in the way people feel about their jobs, the type of work they want to do, and how they want to do it. The best talent is fought over by companies – yet it’s still virtually impossible to really understand what it’s like to work at a company before accepting an offer. Flexa is changing that. Flexa’s uniquely transparent audit and certification process ensures that companies who say they offer flexibility, really do so. Flexa should be the first place candidates go to research workplaces and the place that hiring managers go to share the benefits they offer. We are pleased to be investing in a team with such a clear mission to make work accessible to everyone.”