New gig startup Jyve lets you work your way up from the outside

Gig economy platform Jyve comes out of hiding with $35m in funding and a plan to help gig workers unlock “higher skill opportunities” with each job they successfully complete.

January 25, 2019

The 3-year-old gig economy platform Jyve came out of hiding yesterday with $35m in funding and a new plan to help workers advance their gig careers by unlocking “higher skill tasks” with each job they successfully complete.

Jyve is betting that brick-and-mortar retailers will soon rely on gig workers to staff their stores — and that trustworthy workers should be able to “move up the ranks” whether or not they have a full-time employer.

It pays to pay your dues

Jyve CEO Brad Oberwager (who previously owned one of the country’s largest grapefruit importers) thinks that Uber is just the tip of the economic iceberg and that skilled labor is the next gig frontier.

So, to help workers build specialized skills that may be more valuable, Jyve has implemented a “work quality review system” to let store managers evaluate workers’ performance and recommend them for “better opportunities.”

It’s like a promotion, but it applies across the entire gig world: For example, an entry-level Jyve worker might start out moving boxes, but level up to driving forklifts, or auditing inventory.

A full-time job is still the holy grail of gigs

Oberwager says 70% of Jyve’s market managers started as drivers but later became “W-2 workers” (AKA, full-time employees).

Jyve currently focuses on the retail grocery space (which relates, of course, to Oberwager’s previous experience in the grapefruit game), but with 1.2k cities on the market, it could soon expand its retail repertoire.

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