Recruitment & HR

Leeds entrepreneur Georgina Fairhall is aiming to build a £13 million turnover business within three years after raising £1m in angel investment.

Fairhall launched WAC in 2020, one week before a national lockdown, after choosing to step away from a potential law career in order to champion low-paid workers. 

With years of experience working in hospitality, Fairhall encountered the same problem in every job – she wasn’t getting paid correctly. Hours would frequently be missed, breaks wouldn’t happen, and she was routinely expected to work beyond her finish time to support the team.

“There’s a distinct culture across hourly-paid work where employers expect staff to work over their scheduled shifts and sacrifice breaks if the business requires it,” she tells BusinessCloud. 

WAC app enables workers from all sectors to track their hours, add their rota and get live payslip estimates, including deductions such as tax. 

Fairhall, who topped TechRound’s 29Under29 list late last year, initially launched WAC with a subscription model as a test to prove that its target market, who tend to be on low to minimum wage, was prepared to pay for the solution.

“Although we were generating revenue and had a decent conversion rate, we didn’t have the funding to market and scale very quickly, so it was very difficult to gain traction as quickly as we needed to raise more funding,” she recalls.

She onboarded Tim Brooke Thom – a former chairman of Monzo – and decided to make the app completely free to focus on traction and gather as much user feedback as possible to increase stickiness and product scalability. 

“This was a bold move and made it difficult to raise money as we became a non-revenue business, but I am very pleased we took that step,” says Fairhall.

The move has seen WAC amass more than 300,000 app installs in 136 countries, with 25,000 active users.

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The entrepreneur, who has repeatedly been advised to move her business from Leeds to London – see the full profile at the link below – says it was a challenge to raise the £1m angel investment as a pre-revenue business. She messaged 2,000 investors on LinkedIn during COVID – raising £70k that way – and now has a team of eight staff, with three in the UK and a full-time tech team of five in India.

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“We’re now ready to scale and introduce multiple revenue streams. We are due to launch our premium plan which has been developed based on very focused product development, research and user feedback,” she says.

She is aiming for almost 400,000 installs this year and £4.7m revenue, with targets of 826,000/£9.6m in year three and 1m/£13.2m in year four.

“Over the next year, we’re looking to expand the team within the Yorkshire area to discover emerging talent in the tech landscape to grow our team and continue to onboard individuals who have a passion for challenging social injustice and making an impact in the world of work,” adds Fairhall.

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