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Branch Messenger helps hourly shift workers swap shifts on mobile

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Branch Messenger has created a self-service platform that hourly workers can use to schedule their shifts and manage their time. To do that, it has raised $10 million in funding.

The Branch app enables workers to use their mobile phones to quickly pick up shifts or swap them at places such as Target stores. The idea is to bridge the communication gap between workers and the companies that employ them.

The Minneapolis company most recently closed a $6.8 million funding round, led by March Capital Partners with participation from CrossCut Ventures, Techstars Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, and other investors.

Branch will use the funds to build its team to handle enterprise partnerships and to expand the base of shift workers worldwide. The company has grown quickly in the past six months, and now tens of thousands of workers use the Branch app.

Above: Branch Messenger CEO Atif Siddiqi.

Image Credit: Branch Messenger

“Branch exists to give unparalleled freedom and flexibility to shift workers and to enable enterprises to communicate with those workers in ways never before possible, and we’re gratified to have the support of such exceptional investors who share our vision,” said Atif Siddiqi, founder and CEO of Branch Messenger, in a statement. “This funding will allow us to quickly accelerate the growth of the team as we work to bring Branch to new users around the world.

Branch is free for employees and available as a mobile first application for iOS and Android users. The app can automatically transform paper schedules into digital calendars, and create workplace-specific messaging channels.

Workers who use Branch can cover or pick up shifts within minutes as opposed to hours or days. Using Branch at a broad spectrum of companies, including Target, McDonald’s, and Walgreens, employees who have downloaded the company’s free app posted more than 2.5 million hours in available shifts on Branch over the last 12 months.

“Branch was one of 10 inaugural companies to go through Target’s first retail accelerator,” said Pam Tomczik, vice president corporate development at Target, in a statement. “The goal of the Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator is to help startups bring new products and experiences to retail. Branch was selected out of more than 550 companies spanning 45 countries because they brought a unique product that addressed a clear business need. We’re thrilled they’re continuing to grow.”

Hundreds of leading enterprises are also now using Branch to quickly tap into an elastic on-demand workforce and extend the value of existing workforce management systems without the need for switching costs.

Above: Branch Messenger has an app that lets workers swap shifts.

Image Credit: Branch Messenger

In addition, Branch’s technology provides a seamless way to significantly reduce employee absenteeism, payroll costs, and management time. It can fit just about any organization. Angel investors include Rob Weber, cofounder of mobile ad firm NativeX.

“Branch’s ability to not only quickly create massive demand for its platform at the employee level but also partner with the companies where employees use the technology is incredibly impressive,” said Jim Armstrong, managing director at March Capital Partners, in a statement. “We believe Branch is poised to transform communications between shift workers and enterprises everywhere. We’re excited to partner with the company as it continues to grow.”

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