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Melbourne on-demand employment startup Sidekicker secures strategic investment from SEEK

Melbourne startup Sidekicker, which looks to provide businesses with workers on-demand, has today announced the acquisition by SEEK of a substantial stake in the business for an undisclosed figure, understood to be in the single digit millions.

The first major investment for the startup, which was launched by Jacqui Bull and Tom Amos in 2012, it originated last year after Amos said he noticed a request for a customer service representative come through from Simon Lusted, group strategy director at SEEK, and Michael Ilczynski, managing director of SEEK Employment.

“Little did I know at that time that what they were actually doing was getting to understand the platform and how it works. They were obviously really impressed with the service and the quality of the Sidekick, and from there I went to meet with them and we went through the process of showing them what we’re up to and showing them our vision, and making sure our values were aligned,” Amos explained.

“They’re led by a fantastic team, and we were more pleased the more we got to understand the business.”

With over 3,000 workers and 1,000 businesses signed up to Sidekicker, the platform works by giving businesses in need of extra hospitality, business administration, events, and promotional marketing staff the ability to hire on an hourly or daily basis.

Amos said the startup and SEEK see their services as complementary, making it a “very good relationship that makes sense on a lot of levels”. As such, the two companies will be working together to see how each can further support the other’s customers.

“SEEK is great for the full time and part time roles and the casuals, but when you’re looking at hourly or daily, that’s where Sidekicker fits in. We’ll be working with them to look at how we can let the people on Seek who are looking for work or trying to build careers know about Sidekicker, so they know that while they’re looking for full time work they can get some jobs on the side,” he explained.

This synergy is what convinced Sidekicker to take investment from SEEK rather than other VC firms they had been chatting with.

“It’s about a lot more than just money. The biggest thing is SEEK has a great track record, so we’re able to get great insights from people who are the best in the business locally and potentially globally in terms of how you grow an employment platform,” Amos said.

The investment into Sidekicker is just the latest SEEK has made into startups, having recently acquired a $4 million stake in US startup Nimble Software Systems and last year investing $12.5 million into Indian jobs platform Babajob.

Looking ahead, Amos said Sidekicker will be looking to expand its teams, growing its Sydney office and its tech workforce as it looks to service more cities around Australia.

Image: Tom Amos. Source: Supplied.





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