Workrise Shifts Focus To Renewable Energy To Fill The Skilled Labor Gap

Austin, Texas-based company Workrise used to be in the oil and gas business, but today it's focusing on renewable energy and becoming a marketplace for on-demand services and skilled labor in the industry.

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Previously known as RigUp, the company overhauled its image and shifted to clean energy, with new jobs desperately needing to be filled. And Workrise’s platform does exactly that, making it easier for skilled workers to find work and for companies to hire in-demand workers.

Over the past two years, Workrise has expanded its reach to include the wind, solar, construction, and defense industries. Its platform now matches workers with more than 500 companies in its network. Last year, Workrise placed more than 4,500 workers, which is nearly a third of all the workers it placed in 2020 in renewable-energy jobs.

Today, Workrise is one of Austin’s most funded tech companies. This month it announced that it raised $300 million in a Series E funding round, bringing its valuation to $2.6 billion. Last year, it raised $400 million in a Series D round of funding in October. The company has raised a total of $752 million.

The latest funding round was led by Baillie Gifford, with new investor Franklin Templeton joining existing investors that include Founders Fund, Bedrock Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Moore Strategic Ventures, 137 Ventures, and Brookfield Growth Partners.

The latest investment will be used to continue Workrise's push into new markets. Workrise currently operates in more than 70 metro areas in the United States, including Atlanta, where the company is matching trade workers with commercial construction companies, and in Broomfield, Colorado, where it trains and matches workers to jobs across the U.S. wind industry.

“Workrise’s online management platform is disrupting a sector that's so far been slow to adopt new technologies,” said Dave Bujnowski, Investment Manager at Baillie Gifford. “What’s particularly inspiring is that it’s helping job seekers develop the skills required to succeed in an industry that is changing significantly.”