Sumpli is on the job for gig economy
Someone needs a spare pair of hands, and someone else’s hands are looking for things to do. This Finnish platform brings the two together.
In the modern world, people are used to urgency. Things need to happen now, not later.
“Today, you can rent a boat or a cottage without first saving up money for years to buy one, watch movies instantly on streaming services, or even find yourself company right away on Tinder,” says Sumpli co-founder Mehdi Younes. “People no longer need to own things.”
Younes believes that this is a sign of the times: people don’t want to be anchored in a certain way of life but instead value their freedom. This applies to working life, too: many want to try different kinds of careers in their lifetime and leave plenty of room for leisure.
“A lot of young people don’t want to settle for just a month’s summer vacation, fighting over the most popular weeks with colleagues,” Younes explains. “For them, it’s important to be able to choose when and where they’re working.”
This is called the gig economy, meaning short-term contracts and freelance work instead of permanent full-time positions. It’s also what Finnish startup Sumpli wants to provide both companies and employees with – an opportunity to easily find workers and work.
The idea behind Sumpli’s platform is to let employers advertise open vacancies, be it for one shift or more. Workers, for their part, can show their interest and availability with the touch of a button, without having to fill in cumbersome forms. All of this is free of charge – and potentially very, very fast.
“At best, we’ve had a shift filled just 38 seconds after it was advertised,” tells Younes.
For a fee, Sumpli can also deal with salaries, taxes and pensions, freeing entrepreneurs and companies to focus on their core business.
“I know from experience how much hassle recruiting someone entails, even if it’s just for a short period of time,” Younes notes. “Sumpli can ensure that everything is done by the letter of the law and all expenses are taken care of.”
Particularly in the hotel, restaurant and catering industry (horeca), companies rely heavily on temporary workforce. Serial entrepreneur Younes is fully aware of this, as his background is mainly in owning and running restaurants.
That’s also why Sumpli first established itself in the service industry. Currently, it offers jobs in retail, horeca, cleaning and healthcare, but it’s by no means planning on getting stuck with just them. Younes wants Sumpli to become the go-to platform for workers and employers in all fields.
“We want to uberise working life,” Younes tells, referring to the global ride-sharing service. “My goal is that at some point all companies and everyone of working age will be on Sumpli, and it’ll be where people go to offer and find jobs. Will that ever happen, that I don’t know, but that’s what we’re working towards.”
Fast salaries, not fast loans
The first steps in conquering the world have been taken in Finland, where Sumpli has over 10 000 registered jobseekers and hundreds of employers. Founded by Younes and two of his mates, who initially developed the service with no external money, the company landed 550 000 euros in seed funding in March. A further boost came from Business Finland, which pitched in an additional 250 000 euros in August.
Sumpli’s plan is to head abroad, first to the Nordics and the Baltics and eventually all of Europe. The technology is in place, but local laws and regulations need to be carefully reviewed before entering new markets.
At best, we’ve had a shift filled just 38 seconds after it was advertised.
Younes sees Sumpli as a tool to help immigrants and foreigners enter working life, and also as a way to tackle the grey economy, as Sumpli ensures the legality of payments. Personally, he’s excited about the fact that workers using Sumpli can get paid instantly after their shift, as the payment process is fully automated.
“High-interest fast loan companies piss me off,” he states. “A fast salary is a much better option to save people from falling into debt.”
The more international Sumpli grows, the more alternatives its users will have. For example, backpackers could soon find gigs along their route and finance their travelling that way.
“You could just by an Interrail ticket and stay on the road for longer by working whilst travelling,” Younes says. “Had there been a service like that when I was young… wow.”
Text: Anne Salomäki
Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is a part of Business Finland.