Skillit Secures $8.5Million in Additional Funding to Solve Skilled Labor Shortage

Skillit, the data-driven recruiting platform for skilled, full-time construction labor announced $8.5M in additional funding co-led by MetaProp and Bow Capital with participation from existing investor Building Ventures. Since announcing its seed round in January 2023 Skillit has been adopted by top ENR contractors that are using self-perform to better control project lifecycle and long-term profitability with in-house skilled workers. Skillit taxonomizes and assesses everything from skills and experience to professional goals and preferences in order to generate data-rich worker profiles that make it easy to identify, hire and retain the best talent. This data-driven approach has already resulted in materially more interview requests, offer acceptance rates that are 1.7x the industry average and retention rates that are nearly double. This latest funding brings Skillit’s total funding to $13.6M and will be used to accelerate expansion of Skillit’s Trade-Region Pairs (TRPs) as demand grows nationwide for every trade from carpenters to electricians and heavy equipment operators to welders.

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“We are at a moment in history when it is clearly a time to build. The tailwinds in construction are strong despite the fact that technology has not yet produced a solution to the industry’s greatest challenge – the hiring and retention of skilled workers”

“As the nation’s leading builders shift to self-perform, the construction industry is in the midst of a transformation that will have a lasting impact on the skilled workforce. This trend will nearly double the number of skilled workers needed over the next five years and there is no robot or AI tool that will ever meet this kind of demand. Building projects are by definition incredibly dynamic workspaces, and while there may someday be a way to automate some work on specific projects, skilled workers are still and will remain the key to the next 20 years of infrastructure improvement, climate progress and economic growth. We facilitate these vital hires with data and the resulting intelligence that empowers general contractors and skilled workers alike,” said Fraser Patterson, CEO and Founder, Skillit. “With growing customer demand and considerable inbound interest from new investors following the announcement of our seed round in January, we decided that now is the right time to take on more capital to further accelerate our growth.”

New legislation including the CHIPS Act, Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is exacerbating the demand for skilled workers. As a result, Skillit is seeing contractors’ hiring plans skyrocket. Many customers, for example, are doubling carpenter headcount with hiring rates for “green jobs” such as solar and wind installers and technicians increasing four times as fast. Today, 23 percent of craft workers are self-employed, but recent data suggests that worker expectations have changed, with almost all (98% percent) seeking full-time, W2 employment. When coupled with the shift to self-perform this desire adds stability to both sides of the employer-worker relationship.

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“We are at a moment in history when it is clearly a time to build. The tailwinds in construction are strong despite the fact that technology has not yet produced a solution to the industry’s greatest challenge – the hiring and retention of skilled workers,” said Rafi Syed, General Partner, Bow Capital. “We have spent considerable time understanding labor issues in ‘deskless’ industries, and I believe what Skillit is doing for the built world is unique. It’s no surprise that the platform is experiencing intense demand; it’s a pleasure to support this team of experts as they come together from multiple industries to solve what truly is a data and network problem.”

Skillit’s focus areas for expansion are fueled by several additional Top 50 ENR Contractors who’ve signed on as customers across Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston, Texas, Jacksonville, Florida, Orlando, Florida, San Antonio, Texas, Temple, Texas and Northern California. Skillit is also doubling the number of roles to which its customers have access, now including carpenters, drywallers, electricians, general laborers, heavy equipment operators, millwrights, pipefitters, pipelayers, solar installers, superintendents and welders. With the addition of these new Trade-Region Pairs, Skillit customers are hiring highly skilled workers to perform construction across solar, commercial and industrial sites as well as in permanent, prefabrication facilities.

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