WorkerTech newsletter: April 2024

The latest update from Resolution Ventures


This week I’m excited to share a new addition to our portfolio. Planna is a temporary workforce management tool making seasonal work better quality and more predictable.

I also wanted to let you know that this will be my last newsletter for Resolution Ventures as I am moving on to a new role. It has been a pleasure sharing our work with you over the past three years and it has been great to see the readership of this newsletter grow from 1,400 to 4,500 over this time.

I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of my colleagues at Resolution Ventures!

Ventures Manager
Resolution Foundation

Welcoming Planna to the WorkerTech portfolio

I’m excited to announce our latest investment into Planna. Planna’s goal is to improve temporary employment for workers and businesses in a sustainable way.

Resolution Ventures has invested in Planna in partnership with Bethnal Green Ventures through their Tech for Good programme for pre-product and pre-revenue ventures with significant impact potential.

Planna saves companies time and money by predicting how much temporary labour they’ll need, using an AI system that works with scheduling tools. This helps prevent last-minute cancellations and ensures workers get reliable hours.

The product will also automate the hiring process through its marketplace, and makes it easy for workers to get started using an app.

Planna is committed to making sure work available via the platform is paid at a fair wage, while also providing digital training for career growth, and keeping communication clear and safe through its worker app and community chat board.

We’re excited to be working alongside co-founders Yande Chilufya and Jeremiah Richard to help them build a product that improves the pay, shift notice and training aspects of temporary work.

If you’d like to know more about Planna, please get in touch so we can connect you to the team.

Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation

Firm foundations – This note explores findings from a survey of more than 750 employers on why they use flexible contracts and what might reduce reliance on these in the future. 75% of employers used some form of flexible contract in 2023, mostly driven by demand variability, and 63% of firms would change this behaviour if legislation gave workers rights to fixed hours or better notice of shifts.

The jobs market recovery stalls – The most recent labour market data from the ONS shows that economic inactivity has risen to its highest rate since 2015, and has increased for all age groups except for those aged 35 – 49; ill health is the biggest factor for this increase. Labour demand is also falling. Vacancies fell for the 21st month in a row, and the unemployment rate reached 4.2%.

Electric dreams – How can we decarbonise electricity without disadvantaging poorer families? We need to invest heavily in decarbonising the economy, but with the cost of capital no longer at an all-time low, we need to consider how to pay for the transition in a way which protects low-income households. Low-cost energy, social tariffs and taxes should all be considered to make this transition equitable.

WorkerTech stories

The team at VentureESG interviewed Professor Gina Neff, Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy at the University of Cambridge on labour, digital good, and academic activism. The interview covers how tech has made certain jobs more fragile and how startups can tackle this both within their own teams, and the products they are trying to build.

Timewise, in partnership with Runnymede Trust and Impact on Urban Health, are gathering insights on inequality in access to, and the experience of, flexible working. Their project has found that even in sectors with high prevalence of home-working, workers from ethnic minorities are less likely to feel comfortable asking for flexibility.

Highlights from our portfolio this month:

  • Claudine Adeyemi-Adams, CEO of Earlybird, was presented with the Freedom of the City of London for services to entrepreneurship
  • Valla closed their crowdfunding campaign at £600k and will be running a webinar to share learning about the process for other founders on 7th May
  • Slinger launched their new brand- look out for their out-of-home adverts around London!
  • TaskHer ran Trade Places, a campaign to highlight gender inequality in the painting and decorating industry

Get involved

Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from WorkerTech ventures on a rolling basis. Or you can book a slot in our office hours for an initial conversation.

Daring Capital is launching a newsletter that will include content on how to start and run a purpose-driven startup, funding opportunities, and insights from social purpose venture experts. Register to receive this monthly update.

Focal is running its next demo day on Thursday 16th May. 25 ventures from thousands of applicants will be pitching for investment to an audience of angels and institutional investors. Sign up to watch the cohort pitch.

The Next Frontiers conference 2024 from Joseph Rowntree Foundation invites people on 13th June from across the finance and funding sector to explore alternative approaches to philanthropy and investment. Register to attend in person or online.