SAN FRANCISCO — Jyve, a new platform that helps retailers find flexible and skilled labor, has raised $35 million in funding from SignalFire, Crosscut Ventures, Ridge Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates. By offering a Skills-as-a-Service platform, Jyve intelligently matches the needs of enterprises with the right skilled labor at scale, at the right time. After three years in stealth, the company has reached $400 million in bookings from top grocers, brands and retailers; to meet growing demand the company is welcoming Anu Gupta, formerly Target’s Senior Vice President of Strategy Execution and Operational Excellence, as Chief Operating Officer and Ralph Leung, a former Morgan Stanley senior investment banker, as Chief Financial Officer.
Jyve bills itself as an alternative to Instacart, the leading delivery service for groceries nationwide.
According to a recent report by McKinsey, grocery retailers stand to lose from $200 to $700 billion in revenue by 2026 due in part to changing consumer preferences and the rise of nontraditional commerce channels. In particular, e-commerce is set to become a major part of a grocer’s revenue, jumping from two percent to 20 percent of all sales over the next five years, according to recent Nielsen research.
While current solutions appear to help grocery retailers through this digital transformation, they are actually poised to hurt grocers because the moment these companies take the customer and product data procured and sell directly to the customer from a warehouse, grocers are at imminent danger. Not only that, grocers face high workforce turnover and the on-demand, untrained labor that’s provided by current solutions dilute the brand that stores have spent billions on for decades. That’s where Jyve comes in.
“Retail isn’t dying, it’s changing, and brands that are thriving are the ones investing in their in-store experience as well as owning their e-commerce initiatives,” observed Brad Oberwager, CEO and founder of Jyve. “The question we must ask then is how do we fill this labor shortage and also enable people to refine special skills that are multi-dimensional and rewarding.”
Introducing a Skills-as-a-Service Platform for Grocers, Brands, and Retailers
Motivated by their own experience and challenges faced while serving as senior executives in the consumer packaged goods and snack-food industries, Jyve’s co-founders Brad Oberwager, Cammy Bergren, James Kairos and Sam Purtill came together to build a first-of-its-kind, enterprise-grade skills-as-a-service platform that connects thousands of skilled workers with grocery retailers seeking the following in-store needs:
- Merchandise: stock products on shelves, build and fill displays, audit shelf compliance
- Backroom: check on stock levels and input product orders
- e-Commerce Fulfillment: pick and pack online orders in store, and deliver to curbside or customer door
- Consumer Connect: in-store brand ambassadors for CPGs and retailers
Jyve’s proprietary Skills-as-a-Service platform uses machine learning to source and identify certified, skilled talent (Jyvers) based on the merchandising and digital shopping needs of retailers and brands. By offering enterprises quality talent, Jyvers accomplish a variety of in-store jobs (Jyves) including merchandising, stocking, ordering, display building, e-commerce fulfillment, brand ambassadorship, shelf auditing, and more. As Jyves are completed, companies, for the first time, gain real-time insight into on-the-ground demand and performance.
To date, Jyve operates across 31 states and growing while 6,000 plus Jyvers have served more than 4,000 stores nationally, spanning dozens of grocery retailers and brands.
“Jyve is one of the fastest-growing companies we’ve seen, having already reached $400M in bookings in three short years,” stated Chris Farmer, General Partner and CEO of SignalFire and Jyve’s largest investor. “They are creating a new economic class that’s a level higher than gigs, built around skill, that’s benefiting some of the most important CPG brands, distributors and retailers.”