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Randstad Holding nv, the world’s second-largest staffing firm, launched the Randstad Innovation Fund, a strategic corporate venture fund to invest in HR technology companies.
The Randstad Innovation Fund is intended to build a portfolio of multiple smaller investments over the next couple of years. The fund will invest in social sourcing, online platforms, mobile solutions, virtual solutions, gamification and big data analytics. Ilonka Jankovich and Paul Jacquin will manage the fund.
The fund targets early-stage to expansion-stage companies which are strategically relevant to Randstad. Randstad plans to take minority participations, preferably with venture capital firms or other investors. Typical investment amounts are between €500,000 (US$690,130) and €5 million (US$6.9 million).
Randstad Innovation Fund’s first investment is online platform Gigwalk, which enables consumer brands and retailers to track and improve retail execution via a network of mobile-enabled independent contractors. San Francisco-based Gigwalk has more than 500,000 mobile-enabled independent contractors, also known as Gigwalkers, who can be deployed to any location.
“Inefficiencies in retail execution account for hundreds of billions of dollars lost globally each year,” said Gigwalk CEO Bob Bahramipour. “Our enterprise software platform brings transparency and accountability to local operations, eliminating these problems and improving how brands and retailers work together.”
Randstad’s investment, announced Thursday, was part of a $10 million round of Series B financing led by Nokia Growth Partners. Joining Randstad in the funding are existing investors August Capital, Harrison Metal and SoftTech.
Since Gigwalk launched in 2011, Gigwalkers have completed more than 4 million “gigs” for businesses across North America.