New $2.2M Funding Round Propels Expansion of WorkTorch Career Platform in KCK, KCMO

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LLess than a year after sisters Deborah Gladney and Angela Muhwezi-Hall became the first black women in Kansas to raise $1 million in seed funding for their startup, their renowned Wichita company has announced another $2 investment. $.2 million for his fast-paced service industry career platform.

The new influx of funding — led by Wichita-based Tenzing Capital, and including local investors KCRise Fund, Mid America Angels and Women’s Capital Connection — is expected to help WorkTorch (formerly QuickHire) get started in select cities where the need for employees in the service sector is increasing. .

Expansion targets include Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri, as well as Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Nashville and Atlanta.

October employment figures show people are leaving their careers faster than new hires are arriving, the company said, highlighting the need for WorkTorch’s new capabilities, which include recruitment and retention tools. cutting edge for recruiting managers and career resources for the service industry. professionals.

“Our country depends on skilled service workers, but existing career platforms continue to neglect them,” Muhwezi-Hall said. “WorkTorch listens to people in this industry. And it works. Today, 60% of WorkTorch job seekers are satisfied with their jobs. The industry “happiness” average is only 30%. »

Click on here to discover the new WorkTorch, which is free for job seekers.

Since its launch in April 2021, usage of the WorkTorch platform has grown exponentially – with over 1,000 scheduled interviews per month. Today, WorkTorch has more than 60 paying enterprise customers (from midsize companies to national service companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Homewood Suites by Hilton) using the platform to fill job vacancies in the United States.

“WorkTorch thrives because we empower both sides of the employment spectrum – the career seeker and the company that hires,” Gladney said. “We connect service industry professionals to the careers they want, and provide business support to ensure their new hires feel empowered and encouraged.”

WorkTorch currently has a roster of over 40,000 service industry candidates actively seeking employment. To date, one in three WorkTorch applicants finds a position and stays three times longer than the average employee in the United States, the company said. WorkTorch plans to add skilled labor verticals to its platform soon.

Tenzing was among the first investors in WorkTorch. Other returning investors participating in the latest round include MATH Venture Partners, Sandalphon Capital, KCRise Fund, Sixty8 Capital, Ruthless for Good Fund (RFG Fund), Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and angel investor Gene Camarena.

New investments came from Bloomberg Beta, Graham & Walker Venture Fund, GROWKS, New Community Transformation Fund-Denver, Mid America Angels and Women’s Capital Connection Network and angel investor Jennifer Risher.

Angela Muhwezi-Hall, WorkTorch

Deborah Gladney, WorkTorch

“At Tenzing Capital, our goal is to find and support go-to-market acceleration companies. This is the second time we have invested in WorkTorch,” said Josh Oeding, Founder and General Partner of Tenzing Capital. “The WorkTorch team takes on internal growth and operational challenges with high levels of excellence – and creates long-term relationships with client companies that bring value to this needed space.”

Led by two African-American sisters — Gladney, 35, and Muhwezi-Hall, 32 — the growing startup from Wichita now has more than $4 million in total funding, making Gladney and Muhwezi-Hall two of rare black women to raise significant venture capital funds, the company pointed out.

In 2021, US startups raised $329.9 billion, but black women received less than 0.35% of that amount, according to research firm JD Supra.

This story is possible thanks to the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundationa private, non-partisan foundation that works with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create unusual solutions and empower people to shape their future and succeed.

For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and log on to www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn

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