7. Syft

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Founders: Jack Beaman and Novo Abakare 
January 2015

This punchy little David Haye-backed start-up is coming out swinging against the big players in the temporary recruitment space, thanks to its new approach.

Founded by Jack Beaman and Novo Abakare, Syft is an online top tier staffing solution that helps employers in the hospitality and events industry find the best-trained, vetted workers.

Having experienced the frustrations of temping while at university – where, he says, flexible workers could often be treated like a commodity – Beaman wanted to create something that put worker welfare at its heart, while simultaneously giving control to the employer.

Since launching three years ago, Syft has attracted a number of employers from the hospitality, events and warehousing sectors including Gordon Ramsay’s chain of restaurants, the SMART group, and Dish.

It has also whet investor's appetites with an impressive £8.75m funding raised to date. Backers include Creandum, PROfounders Capital, Lord Young and founders from Photobox, Gamesys, Play.com and Velocity, alongside Haye.

But you expect that investment figure to rise over the coming year.

Syft is in talks with some of “the world’s top VC firms” to raise a £10m to £15m Series B round, as it looks to launch in four new cities in the next year and launch new verticals in the five cities it’s already live in.

While its customer and investor base are laudable, so to are the aims of the business – Syft's personal ambitions come with a philanthropic edge. The business is committed to raising the wages of workers across the UK and matching them with trusted employers.

It also has plans to launch its own charity focused on helping the homeless find jobs by giving them the necessary skills and social support and matching them with employers.

This commitment to fairness and high standards is something the start-up will hold close to its chest, even as it scales to fulfil its aim of becoming “the world’s largest provider of temporary recruitment”.

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