Afternoon Coffee: Shiftgig Secures $20 Million in Series C Round, How Blockchain is Transforming the Cotton Industry

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Work intermediation platform Shiftgig announced Tuesday it has raised $20 million in a Series C round. The company will use the funding to expand its sales and marketing operations and continue improving upon its core technology product, hiring 100 people to support the effort.

"The additional funding is certainly a vote of confidence for Shiftgig's on-demand marketplace model. specifically focused on lower-wage shift work,” said Andrew Karpie, director of labor and services procurement research at Spend Matters. “Unlike many of the online work intermediation platforms that have pursued models engaging 1099 independent contractors, Shiftgig actually puts its shift workers on payroll.

“As employees, they are background checked, have workers compensation, and receive other benefits. By doing this, Shiftgig avoids misclassification and other legal compliance problems that have plagued platforms like Uber.”

"For contingent workforce management practitioners,” Karpie continued, “Shiftgig should be viewed as additional evidence of the ongoing evolution and potential for digital alternatives to traditional intermediaries like staffing suppliers. It is a validation of our research on this subject and the assertions of our recent report, ‘The Impact of Disruptive Technologies and Solutions on Contingent Workforce and Services Procurement.’ At this point in time, practitioners must start to accelerate their active responses to these emerging digital sourcing channels."

Blockchain Comes to Cotton Sourcing

Our readers have likely been inundated lately with prediction after prediction about how blockchain is set to change procurement and procure-to-pay (P2P) technologies. But now it’s finally happening — and not just in financial services!

The cotton industry is turning to blockchain to make trading easier, more secure and more efficient, Sourcing Journal explains. One play by Seam, a commodities trading and agribusiness software provider, will use IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology to form a blockchain consortium for the global cotton industry.  

May Speaks, Markets React

After Prime Minister Theresa May outlined a plan for a hard Brexit earlier today, the British pound rose sharply, up 2.9% against the dollar for the day. But the benchmark FTSE 100 share index, which was already in negative territory, fell further to stand 1.46% lower, the BBC writes.

China Ore Imports Slip

And finally, news from the metals world. China’s iron ore imports slipped 8% in December, reflecting a seasonal slowdown, Reuters reports. Purchases for the full year, however, hit an all-time high and could remain strong in 2017.

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