Slinger has raised a new round of pre-seed funding, totalling £500,000, to solve the £25 billion ‘vacancy gap’.

Among the backers is the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, where Slinger was selected alongside 15 other businesses across Europe. The business is led by Theo-Lee Houston.

The round was led by Fuel Ventures with participation from Ufi Ventures, Andrew Gale, Dan Cobley (Ex Google MD), Cornerstone Partners, Resolution Foundation, Tim Parsons (Wage Stream CFO), Gary Elden (EX SThree CEO), Ben Westwood and Richard Ng.

It will be used to support Slinger’s goal to shake up the archaic hiring process in the hospitality industry.

On the business side, post Brexit and Covid, the hospitality industry is struggling with staff vacancies, which has led venues to reduce opening hours or trading days. According to trade body UKHospitality, vacancies are still 72% higher than pre-pandemic levels while the industry is currently having to turn away £25bn worth of business in the UK.

In addition, recruitment is an expensive endeavour, with margins so low in hospitality that the situation is precarious.

Slinger is a job platform that replaces outdated CVs with videos and creative written submissions, while staff are vetted in advance. 

It commits to paying the UK’s Real Living Wage, as jobs cannot be posted unless they meet this, and claims the beta version of its product led to a staggering 80% reduction in hiring costs, and a 90% acceleration in the time taken to fill roles.

More than 10,000 shifts have already been added to the Slinger platform and over £1 million paid out to hospitality workers in the last two years. 

“The UK hospitality sector has significant, enduring vacancy rates, but it is too often a career that people ‘fall’ into,” said Ellasaid Woodhouse, investment associate at Ufi Ventures. 

“We’re delighted our investment will support Slinger in tackling those challenges head-on, reducing the barriers to hiring, training, pay and progression and ultimately creating flexible, long-term career paths across the industry.”

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