Ogram, a UAE-based digital staffing platform, has raised Dh11 million ($3m) in a Series A funding round as economies in the region continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and investors allocate more cash to promising start-ups.
Global venture capital company Modus Capital and Aditum Investment Management led the funding round, Ogram said in a statement on Monday.
Dtec Ventures, the investment arm of Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, a tech hub and co-working venue, and Daal VC, among other strategic investors, also participated in the round.
Ogram will use the new funds to expand into Saudi Arabia and Europe, and has earmarked Greece as its European launch pad, the start-up said.
The total funding secured by start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa more than doubled to about $864m in the first quarter of the year, according to a report from data platform Magnitt.
Funding for Mena start-ups during the three months to March 31 increased by 161 per cent on an annual basis, while the number of deals was up by 16 per cent. First-quarter funding for Mena start-ups surpassed that of the previous quarter by 33.3 per cent, Magnitt said.
Ogram is a staffing marketplace that enables businesses to book and manage staff on-demand.
“We’ve only just started to scratch the surface of on-demand staffing — our end goal is to empower workers to take back control and to change the way companies hire,” Shafiq Khartabil, chief executive and co-founder of Ogram, said.
“Being pioneers in a nascent economy has enabled us to capitalise on a golden opportunity. Our strategy is to dominate the Mena region and European markets that are counter-cyclical, highly dependent on part-time work, and want to adopt flexible working patterns.”
The start-up helps to connect companies with temporary workers in roles such as waiters, baristas, e-pickers and packers, chefs, warehouse workers and cleaners, among others, according to its website.
Ogram primarily caters to the staffing demands of hospitality, retail, fast-moving consumer goods, logistics and e-commerce industries. Its technology makes job matching 160 times faster and 50 per cent more reliable, the company claims.
Ogram doubled its growth in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic and is on track to triple its business by the end of 2022, the statement added.
“Ogram is working to tackle a problem that has been brought to the forefront of professional conversations over the past few years,” Kareem Elsirafy, managing partner at Modus Capital, said.
“The team has capitalised on a shift that was made during the pandemic, but has had long-term continuity as the workforce evolves its requirements, needs and wants. We’re thrilled to support them in breaking down outdated processes and pioneering new ways of working.”
Ogram tackles the increasing demand for a flexible workforce that is available on-demand as companies navigate new workplace trends, Hans Christensen, senior director of technology and entrepreneurship at Dtec, said.