Assured Labor Raises $1 Million in Seed Funding for Jobs Marketplace
Assured Labor, a Boston-based online services marketplace that launched in January 2009, said today that it has raised $1 million in seed funding from a group including Nexus Venture Partners, Kima Ventures, former Skype CEO Michael Van Swaaij, and OLX.com CEO Fabrice Grinda.
The MIT Media Lab spinoff, which Xconomy profiled shortly after its launch, uses the Web and text messaging to connect mid-to-low-wage workers in developing countries with potential employers. The company tested its service in Boston, but president David Reich says the goal was always to transfer the technology to emerging markets such as Nicaragua, where the company now plans to expand. Reich says the funding round will enable Assured Labor to enhance its Latin American site, EmpleoListo.
“This round is big for Assured Labor in two senses,” Reich wrote in a note to Xconomy this morning. “One, it’s going to allow us to take our disruptive model that we’ve proven in our pilot market, Nicaragua, and apply it in larger countries where the opportunity is exponentially larger. Second, we brought on a rock star team of investors that’s experienced in building massive marketplaces and understands the nuances of emerging markets just as my team does. For instance, Michael van Swaaij was the CEO of Skype and the Chief Strategy Officer at eBay during a period of tremendous growth. Nexus Venture Partners is one of the top venture funds operating in India and will be instrumental when we move in that direction. Also, Fabrice Grinda has built one of the largest marketplaces in the world with OLX.com and Jose Marin was one of the founders of DeRemate (a digital marketplace in Latin America which was sold to MercadoLibre).”