Tiger Global invests in labour management system

Tiger Global and Warburg Pincus have invested in labour management system provider GaiaWorks to capitalise on the boom in China's manufacturing and service industries.

Chinese workforce management system provider GaiaWorks has completed its Rmb300 million ($44.3 million) Series C funding led by Tiger Global, along with existing investor Warburg Pincus and Matrix Partners China.

Proceeds will be used to develop machine learning and artificial intelligence applications for staff scheduling and other labour management tools.

Asia has the largest labour market in the world. China makes up most of it and is viewed as the “manufacturer of the world”. According to research site Chyxx.com it had a working population of 824 million in 2016, most of them in the manufacturing and retail sectors. No surprise then that manufacturing is central to its national strategy.

Founded in 2009, GaiaWorks is riding the boom in the manufacturing and service industries. It now has businesses in 13 Asian countries, and is used by around 1,000 companies.

Market volatility has, however, affected the labour market. Chinese manufacturing companies have had to lay off workers as exports shrink. On a panel discussion held by S&P Global and Stanford GSB Chapter in Hong Kong this week, Shaun Roache, chief economist of S&P Global Ratings in Asia-Pacific, said not only that China’s productivity growth has already slowed, but GDP growth could also fall to 4% in not-too-distant future.

As companies focus more on efficiency and quality to survive this economic winter, labour management is critical. Chinese President Xi Jinping said last year that the country needs to raise its productivity to promote the real economy with technology innovation, modern finance, and human resources. 

The capital markets understand the importance of labour management. GaiaWorks raised around Rmb200 million in three funding rounds in 2016 and 2017, from Warburg Pincus, Matrix Partners China, GenesisCapital and Vision Capital.

With the support of these PE firms, GaiaWorks is starting to dream big. It has partnered with the labour outsourcing company Excelity Global to provide a labour management system for the “Belt and Road” project.


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