Ada’s investment in Flexa
We’re thrilled to announce our investment in Flexa, a platform bringing transparency to the global hiring market that is changing how people search for jobs and how companies get discovered for their brilliant working environments.
As the Great Resignation proliferates, employers struggle to retain their best staff and lack the tools to increase employee satisfaction and retention. Today, employees choose jobs based on “how” they work, rather than just “what” they will do.
Gen Zers began entering the workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic and added to the already shifting demands of the under 55s. As a result, the bulk of the workforce has a new work-life balance and flexibility expectations, and existing tools weren’t addressing that challenge.
Flexa was introduced to Ada by one of our scouts, Ariella Young. She had an initial call with the company’s co-founder Molly and was impressed by Flexa’s ambition and innovative approach to tackling workplace flexibility problems. Ariella is a former entrepreneur and a lawyer who worked at Baker&Mckenzie before specialising in consumer and fintech M&A deals. Ariella spends her spare time supporting companies — particularly those with female founders and has developed a community of female-led businesses.
The issue of flexibility is deeply personal for Molly. While working in investment banking, she struggled with health issues and could not get the flexibility she needed to continue there.
Ariella was also intrigued by how much Flexa’s customers, such as Farfetch and Paddle, value the service.
Molly and her co-founders, Maurice and Tim, are building much more than a hiring platform with Flexa. They are passionate about the opportunity to build the startup into a global employer brand platform by owning the top-of-the-funnel hiring category and leveraging their growing community of half a million engaged individuals.
Why does Flexa fit the Ada Thesis, and what got us excited?
It’s an overlooked and underserved market and Flexa’s approach is unique
The global market for recruitment services is huge and has a significant gap. The global recruitment market is projected to grow to US$542 bn in 2024. Several established companies help people find a job, but none of them leads with the information that people actually care about before applying, such as the working environment. Flexa is growing by 30,000 new users every single month, and they’ve already got a presence in over 70 countries.
Demand is high
Three-quarters of UK workers now say work-life balance is more important to them than it was pre-pandemic. Research shows that workers really value flexibility, which is especially crucial for top talent. Gallup found that “remote work not only improves outcomes… but is also a policy that the most talented employees desire.”
Flexification® is a talent attraction tool and building a diverse and inclusive workplace. The employee is expecting flexibility at work as part of a work experience; on the employer side, the employer is expecting a diverse workforce and culture. For example, Gemma Green, Head of Talent at Paddle, says, “Flexa’s brilliant platform gives us the opportunity to showcase our employer brand to candidates who are specifically looking for progressive businesses fully behind flexible working. We get to share our culture in a way job boards and talent marketplaces simply don’t allow. Flexa has captured a space in the market that didn’t exist before and we have loved our partnership so far. You only have to look at their client roster to see we’re not alone.”
The market is ready for positive disruption
The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the movement towards remote work and automation. Yet, it is still impossible to find which companies offer the type of flexibility that an individual is looking for. Flexibility is more than just ticking a box saying “flexibility” or adding a note at the bottom of a job description. Flexible working is deeply personal and varies significantly from person to person. Apart from Flexa, there is nowhere to find out what companies offer. From coming into the office one day per week through to offering enhanced parental leave, Flexa is the source of truth.
The timing is right
The pandemic has changed how we work forever. Therefore, Flexa’s timing is perfect. The user wants more flexibility in the workplace, and Flexa is completely obsessed with how to deliver that. The company’s co-founders, Molly, Maurice, and Tim are a dynamic and highly complementary team, each bringing a unique skillset.
The power balance between employer and employee has shifted forever. People expect more from their employers: more freedom, more support, more benefits. In that context, Flexa is redesigning the way the world thinks about work. There is an opportunity to 10X the current user experience.
We love the marketplace business model for its defensibility, network effects and superior offering to both sides. Every company on Flexa has gone through its unique Flexification® accreditation process. It means that users can trust that all of its Flexified companies offer genuinely flexible working. Flexa does that by benchmarking companies against the two different indices they build with thousands of data points. The first one measures objectively what a company offers versus the market. The second one measures the perception of flexibility from employee’s point of view in their working environment.
Flexa’s early growth has been impressive
Flexa has more than 160 paying customers and over 450,000 users on its platform to this date in just 18 months. It has partnered with companies, including Allianz, Farfetch, TrueLayer, Crowdcube and Currencycloud. The startup is on a track to have two million users by the end of 2022. We believe every flexible company on the planet should be on Flexa’s platform.
Flexa’s mission is good for society
We believe that companies hoping to attract and retain the best possible talent must foster a culture of diversity and adopt ways of working that support employees’ well-being and work/life balance.
During Covid, we know many parents, particularly mothers, had to drop out of the workforce to take care of their kids; they really are seeking flexibility.
Flexible working allows companies to hire more inclusively, bringing more equality and fairness into the workplace and positively impacting the world. Flexa itself epitomises inclusion and diversity; 67% of its users are women, 30% are people of colour, and 15% have chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Finally, the environmental and sustainability impact of fewer people commuting to offices cannot be ignored. Covid restrictions reduced global carbon emissions by 17% by April 2020 compared to their mean levels in 2019. By embracing flexible working, companies can also reduce pollution as their staff will be commuting less and doing less business travel on planes.
We love what Flexa offers, we are excited about their ambitious roadmap, and we are delighted to be working with them. If you are interested in joining a flexible, diverse and ambitious team — Flexa is hiring!