Durham: Allobee, a managed marketplace for small businesses and startups, announced today that it has secured $500K in a funding round led by Stargazer Ventures and a network of angel investors to further support the company’s rapid growth since launching in May of 2020. In addition to customer acquisition and brand awareness, the funding will enable the hire of a full-time engineer, Niki Gitinabard, once bound for Silicon Valley, now bringing her Ph.D. in Computer Science and Machine Learning from N.C. State University to Allobee.
Founder Brooke Markevicius built her career at fast-paced big tech companies, exposing her to the pain points of both clients and freelance personnel. Markevicius’ career trajectory was changed when she became a mother and realized the two worlds did not work well together. She envisioned an end-to-end solution that addressed both the pain points of underutilized workers in the modern gig economy and those running a small business.
“At its core, I designed flexible solutions through Allobee with mothers and caregivers in mind because that’s what I needed,” Markevicius explains. “Allobee’s algorithm eliminates decision fatigue and supports an agile approach to outsource and manage workflow. The model also supports the workforce paradigm shift away from major cities.”
Since launching in May 2020, the increased demand for access to flexible skilled workers to support entrepreneurs and small businesses all over the country has accelerated Allobee hiring of a fully vetted and highly skilled workforce: women that have left the traditional 9-5.
It has been widely reported that millions of women left the workplace voluntarily since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 due to childcare needs, in addition to the millions losing work in industries hit hard by the pandemic. Allobee’s all-female leadership team sees the power of this highly skilled, suddenly underutilized workforce of talent and the opportunity to provide jobs on their terms. Early investor Silvia Aguirre said this attracted her to Allobee: “There are so many intelligent women who had full-time careers in the past, then they had to raise children and could not be 100 percent in the workforce.”
Notably, Allobee’s funding also comes during a particularly challenging year for female founders. It was reported in December that global VC funding to female founders dropped dramatically in 2020 — a decrease of 27% compared to 2019.