Tech Start-Up To Accelerate Product Development And Target Growth In New Markets
The Corporate team at Irwin Mitchell has advised Praetura Ventures on its £3m investment in Orka Technology Group.
Manchester-based Orka is an SaaS business which provides tech-based solutions for shift workers – such as cleaners, engineers and security staff - and their employers.
Orka helps workers find temporary employment with large organisations, a flexible payment product that allows workers to access half of their wages as soon as they’ve earned them. It is also launching a passport system which eliminates the need for background assessments every time someone sources work through Orka.
Over 60,000 people already use Orka’s products and it currently works with more than half of the UK’s top 30 security companies, including organisations including G4S, ISS and Wilson James.
The funding from Praetura Ventures will be used to accelerate product development, grow its API integration programme and target growth in the mechanical and electrical sectors.
The Orka deal was facilitated by Praetura Ventures’ Peter Carway (investment director), Louise Chapman (investment director) and Sim Singh-Landa (investment manager).
David Foreman, managing director of Praetura Ventures, said: “Our mission has long been to support brilliant Northern businesses with exceptional founders. Orka ticks both boxes and we’re looking forward to working closely with the team as they continue to address many of the pain points that exist within the shift work and labour space, including a lack of transparency when putting candidates forward for roles.
“Given the company’s track record in this sector and the changing face of work, investing in Orka made complete sense.”
Adam Kaucher and James King from Irwin Mitchell’s Corporate team advised Praetura Ventures. Other recent deals on which the team has advised Praetura Ventures include investments into Culture Shift and Percayso Inform.
Expert Opinion“This is a superb addition to Praetura Ventures’ impressive portfolio of technology companies. Orka’s product is truly innovative and the already high usage rate amongst thousands of shift workers highlights the strong demand that exists. We are delighted to support Praetura Ventures on their latest deal and look forward to seeing how Orka expands as it develops it offering and expands into new markets.” Adam Kaucher - Partner
Tom Pickersgill, co-founder and CEO of Orka, said: “We have been growing at pace over the past four years with a vision to transform the sourcing, onboarding and payment experience for both employers and their employees, culminating in the ultimate infrastructure for hourly paid workforces.
“In this time, the employment landscape has changed dramatically and shift workers, who make up 85% of the global workforce, are becoming even more flexible and keener to adopt technology that can support their needs. They are now looking for work that fits around their life without having to navigate the often complex job hunting process.”
He added: “We are thrilled that Praetura Ventures has bought into our vision and will support us in building the infrastructure for hourly paid workforces and an operating system that will give our users the ideal journey based on their needs. We can now really look at adding value for our business clients while commercialising the model and keeping the value and focus on the worker.”