Why are we backing Roleshare?
Lumus Investment Collective is backing Roleshare, a job sharing marketplace and management platform. The company was founded by Sophie Smallwood and Dave Smallwood. The idea originated from Sophie's frustration. She sought a flexible role to spend more time with her young child but she couldn't find any role offered on a half-time basis that would match her carrier ambitions. She has realised that the most interesting roles are offered full-time and there is no way to split them, thus Roleshare was born!
Quite often we hear, see and experience the problem of women being on maternity leave, seeking their return to work and not getting the flexibility they need. All the employees often need flexibility at certain transition points in life, and job sharing allows for continuity.
We strongly believe that Roleshare will redefine how large organisations hire and retain talent. Creating attractive job opportunities and allowing them to be shared by two people will create the element of flexibility and continuity the modern workforce is seeking for at certain points of their lives.
The World Economic Forum's Center for Economic Policy has recognized Roleshare for their potential to play a major role in transforming the economy by enabling a dramatic improvement in participation by women and underrepresented groups. The same groups that were most likely to drop out of the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lynda Gratton, a professor of management at London Business School and the global thought-leader on the future of work writes in her MIT Sloan Management Review's article:
"Employers are giving the chance to create working lives that resemble a portfolio of different elements while giving team leaders the chance to bring both employees and contractors into projects in highly connected ways. I call this the “third way” that sits between full-time work and contract work."
The need for job flexibility is greater than ever as more women returning to the workforce seek parity with their male counterparts. According to a study by McKinsey, $12 trillion could be added to GDP by 2025 if women played an identical role in labour markets to men. At the same time there is a global talent shortage. By 2030, according to a Korn Ferry study, there will be a worldwide talent shortage of more than 85 million people as demand for skilled individuals exceeds supply.
Lumus team and 6 women angels from Lumus Investment Collective joined the financing round of $1.2 million led by Plug and Play VC, accompanied by Forward VC, Rethink Capital Partners, Techstars VC and several angel investors.
This investment will help Roleshare accelerate the product development and expand its sales and marketing efforts into new markets. "We're just beginning, but Roleshare could make it possible for enterprises to better retain, redeploy, and hire 3 billion women and employees of diverse backgrounds and circumstances globally by normalizing and scaling this sharing of roles,” said Sophie Smallwood.
One might be wondering about Roleshare's connection to the CEE region - a part of Lumus' investment focus. Neither Roleshare founders or the company as such are directly connected to the CEE region. However, when considering this startup, we concluded that the solution could have a significant impact on the CEE region, especially on the working women and people going through a transition in life. If we, investors in a female investment club could drive positive impact on gender equality and economic growth through supporting solutions such as Roleshare, we proudly will.