Workrise, once known as RigUp, raises $300M at a $2.9B valuation

·3-min read

Workrise, which has built a workforce management platform for the skilled trades, announced today that it has raised $300 million in a Series E round led by U.K.-based Baillie Gifford that values the company at $2.9 billion.

New investor Franklin Templeton joined existing backers -- including Founders Fund, Bedrock Capital, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Moore Strategic Ventures, 137 Ventures and Brookfield Growth Partners -- in putting money in the round. With this latest financing, Workrise has now raised more than $750 million.

You may know Austin-based Workrise better by its former name, RigUp. The company changed its name earlier this year to reflect a new emphasis on industries other than just oil and gas after the industry took a beating in recent years.

In 2020, Workrise laid off one-quarter of its corporate employees as the industry took an even bigger hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. It currently has more than 600 employees in 25 offices.

Despite the rocky start to the year, Workrise apparently ended up rebounding. Its gross revenue has tripled since 2018, going from just under $300 million to about $900 million to close out 2020.

Workrise was founded in 2014 as a marketplace for on-demand services and skilled labor in the energy industry. In October 2019, it raised a $300 million Series D round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) that valued the company at $1.9 billion.

Since then, Workrise has broadened its reach to include wind, solar, commercial construction and defense industries. In a nutshell, it connects skilled laborers with infrastructure and energy companies looking to staff and manage projects efficiently. Workrise's online platform matches workers with over 500 companies in its network, manages payroll and benefits and provides access to training.

The company plans to use its new capital to continue to expand into new markets.

“The shift to clean energy and a redoubling of investment in infrastructure are opening up jobs that are desperately in need of filling,” said Workrise co-founder and CEO (and former energy investor) Xuan Yong in a statement. “Our platform makes it easier for skilled workers to find work and for companies to hire in-demand workers.”

Dave Bujnowski, investment manager at Baillie Gifford, points out that Workrise’s online management platform is “disrupting a sector that’s so far been slow to adopt new technologies.”

Workrise now serves more than 70 metro areas in the U.S., including Atlanta, where the company is matching trade workers with commercial construction companies, and in Broomfield, Colordao, where the company trains and matches workers to jobs across the U.S. wind industry.

The company also offers trade workers access to training that equips them for energy and infrastructure jobs that are on the rise. Last year, Workrise placed more than 4,500 workers, or nearly a third of all its workers placed in 2020, in renewable-energy jobs.

Specifically, the company says in total, it placed 8,000 unique workers in jobs in 2019, with 13% in renewables. That number jumped to 15,000 in 2020.

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