AI-powered gig economy startup Catapult gets a fresh £4.3m

On-demand staffing platform Catapult has raised £4.3m in fresh funding, bringing their total up £10m over the last three years.

The funding was led by Novator Partners, and supported by Dollar Shave Club and Elkstone Ventures.

Based in Islington, Catapult uses artificial intelligence to match employers’ requirements with the experience and skills of workers, with clients including Topshop, Virgin, Busaba and Paul Bakeries.

In a move away from the controversial culture of the gig economy, Catapult’s workers receive holiday pay, minimum wage and pay-as-you-earn taxed payroll. This means candidates for Catapult are fully vetted before being offered to employers, but still retain the flexibility of a tradition gig economy job.

“In the current and foreseeable economic climate, the clear benefits to business are about switching your labour spend from fixed to variable costs, while at the same time providing workers with access to flexible working opportunities,” said the co-founder of Catapult, Oli Johnson.

Currently operating with an internal staff of 50, Catapult reaches 30 towns and cities in the UK. Catapult plans to use this new funding to expand not only into new sectors, but internationally too.

“There are approximately 3m people working part-time in retail and hospitality in the UK. Our goal is to give them the best part-time job out there. This investment will help us continue to grow Catapult here and launch the model in new markets too.”

Birgir Mar Ragnarsson from Novator Partners’ will be joining the startup’s board of directors. He said “Catapult has cracked open a large market with the on-demand work model”.

“Having invested in Catapult a year ago, we’ve seen their fast growth firsthand. In the past 12 months – they’ve scaled the business to 30 new UK cities, they’ve invested in AI and set their sights on Europe. We’re excited to increase our stake and involvement as they continue to pick up pace.”