Carmel-based startup seeking $7M in funding to begin national expansion

Carmel-based Work Here LLC is poised for significant growth.

Work Here, whose mobile app WorkHere allows job-seekers to find and apply for nearby positions, this month plans to begin efforts to raise money for a Series A round of funding. It hopes to close on about $7 million in growth capital later this year.

About 75% of that funding will go toward sales and marketing in an effort to roll out its subscription software nationwide, company officials said. Currently, the company generates 90% of its revenue from within Indiana, but does have some significant business out of state, including one of its biggest deals in Georgia.

Additional funding will be used to grow the 12-person staff to about 55 by the end of 2020. Work Here recently has enlisted two executive search firms to line up job candidates to bolster the firm’s staff, with key hires expected by year’s end. 

In 2017, the company said it hoped to have about 160 jobs by early 2022.

“We think the company has significant opportunities for growth, said Howard Bates, Work Here co-founder and CEO. The U.S. 'has the lowest unemployment rate than we’ve had in more than 50 years. Companies are realizing they just can’t post jobs anymore and expect to make the hires they need.”

The marketing will be led by Work Here’s newest employee, human resources tech veteran Chad Fife, and will be aimed at certain verticals in a very targeted way, Bates said.

“Chad is a marksman and shoots very targeted bullets,” Bates said. “Chad was a very, very good find for us. He had a big job opportunity in Los Angeles, but he lives in Westfield, he’s rooted here, and he believes in what we’re doing.”

Work Here’s marketing thus far has been primarily grass roots, he added.

The first step in the company’s new marketing campaign is to unveil a new web site—which should be especially helpful for potential investors—that is set to go live at the end of next week. Fife and other Work Here officials also plan to start making the circuit at human resources trade shows, starting with one of the nation’s biggest in Las Vegas in October.

Work Here’s platform is equally precise. The geofencing technology its platform uses can target very small, specific areas for clients, Bates said.

Work Here, which was incorporated in 2015 and started doing business in early 2016, earns its revenue from companies that use its software to find employees. Most clients pay a flat monthly fee. The company currently has about 50 clients including Uber, CDL, Great Clips and Crew Car Wash. The company is also on the verge of signing another big-name client, Bates said. That deal is expected to be finalized within days.

Companies looking for employees in a relatively tight geographic area, with somewhat high turnover and a need for a large number of employees are target clients for Work Here.

“We help people find jobs close to where they want to be,” Bates said. “That’s key to job retention.”

Not only does Work Here’s platform help identify potential job candidates, it also has features—including a chat feature—that help preliminarily screen job candidates for its clients. 

Fife will take aim at the driver market as well as hospitals and health care and the youth market among others, Bates said. 

On the youth front, Work Here’s platform already serves as the backbone of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s INTERNet program.

“We work with cities and towns to get young people into vocational positions,” Bates said.

Bates is confident Work Here will hit its goal for its Series A fund raise. The company already has raised $3.8 million in seed funding from locally based VisionTech Partners and other angel investors. 

“We’re confident the [venture capitalists] are going to love us. This is a big market, and what we’re offering is unique. There isn’t a whole lot of competition for us,” Bates said. “Our margins are very good. We are slightly [cash] negative, but within 24 months, we should be throwing off cash.”

Work Here was founded locally by former executive Rick Wehrle, human resources and tech industry veteran Mike Seidle and Bates. 

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