Singapore-headquartered FastCo has announced on Thursday that it has successfully raised S$10.5 million ($7.48 million) in its Series A funding round. FastCo is the company behind FastJobs, Southeast Asia’s top non-executive job portal for both job-seekers and employers, and FastGig, Singapore’s first flexi-work recruitment app.

In the extended Series A round, Malaysia-based investment firm OSK Ventures International (OSKVI) led the funding that raised a total investment of S$4.7million ($3.35 million) into FastCo with participation from existing investor Cento Ventures and new investor Kairous Capital.

Cento, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage technology start-ups in Southeast Asia, came on board with S$5.8 million of funds during the initial Series A round in December 2021 and participated in the Founder and management-led buy-out of FastCo from then SGX-listed Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

Commenting on the latest funding, Julian Tan, Founder & CEO of FastCo, said, “We are excited to welcome OSKVI and Kairous onboard as FastCo embarks on a journey of accelerated growth. Both OSKVI and Kairous are strategic partners who will strengthen our expansion efforts in Malaysia, where we aim to double down on the underserved B40 market,” he added.

OSKVI Executive Director and CEO Amelia Ong said, “The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the advent of technology has democratized how we work, and in many ways, it has redefined “work” itself. FastCo’s recruitment platforms are about delivering that change, especially to the informal and non-executive employment sector.”

“Today, many people earn their living in ways that do not resemble traditional 9-to-5 jobs. ‘Gig work’ is an emerging trend, in Southeast Asia and globally. We believe FastCo will play a key role in facilitating the growth and success of this new sector for Malaysia where 26 percent of our local workers already belong to the gig economy,” she added.

Cento Ventures Partner Ali Fancy said, “We look forward to supporting the team as they continue to focus on uplifting the standard of living of the hard-working manual, service and semi-skilled workforce, while expanding their offerings to encompass new verticals such as providing access to much-needed financial services.”

FastCo is committed to improving the livelihoods of underserved and informal job seekers and deliver a data-driven unified experience for employers through its proprietary employment matching platform, catering to job markets in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

In general, Southeast Asia workers still rely predominantly on word-of-mouth referrals in securing manual, service, and semi-skilled work engagements resulting in significant loss in earning opportunities.

From an employer’s perspective, making long-term employment commitments amidst changing market dynamics could lead to costly financial mistakes. On the other hand, semi-skilled job seekers are attracted to choice, flexibility, and the prospect of earning additional income through jobs that match their skillsets and experience. Through its seamless and easy-to-use website and mobile apps, FastCo is committed to supporting businesses’ labour needs while enabling meaningful employment of non-executive workers across all its operating markets.

Since the completion of the buy-out exercise in 2021, the group has experienced steady growth. To date, across all its operating markets, the platform has registered more than 4.4 million jobseekers across all operating markets, with an average of 500,000 monthly active users.

These job seekers have access to more than 20,000 jobs from verified employers, including big players in the retail, food & beverages and logistics industries.

More recently in 2022, FastCo officially launched its flexi-work platform, FastGig, enabling access to flexible work opportunities beyond conventional part-time or full-time employment. To date, FastGig has worked with dozens of businesses to plug their staffing gaps, fulfilling over 500,000 man-hours since its inception.

The latest fund injection will support FastCo’s plans to make deeper inroads into the regional markets with a focus on fortifying its marketing initiatives and growing its sales and product development teams.
FastCo’s Singapore operations yield a positive cash flow, and buoyed by positive prospects from recovering job markets, the group expects to break-even within the next two years.

FastCo is the company behind FastJobs and FastGig. First launched in April 2015, FastJobs has consistently been ranked among the top and fastest-growing recruitment apps in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines for the manual, service, and semi-skilled job segments. Through innovative solutions and services, FastJobs enables greater accessibility to jobs for its registered users. Employers using the FastJobs platform also enjoy the ease of accessing an enlarged manpower pool.

In 2022, FastCo officially launched its flexi-work platform, FastGig, targeted at jobseekers searching for flexible work opportunities beyond conventional part-time or full-time employment.

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