Good talent can be hard to reach, but one Kansas City tech startup is now making it easier than ever.
Founded in 2014, Popbookings is a mobile and web-based application that streamlines the hiring process for event and promotional staffing companies.
The idea for Popbookings first came to founder Erica Klotz while she was running an agency that was more on the production side but had more and more people coming to her needing to book staff for events.
At that point in time, Klotz was using nothing more than emails and Excel spreadsheets to get the job done. That’s when it hit her.
“When I realized there were agencies much larger than us doing the same thing on a national scale and not using anything either, I thought ‘We’ve got a tech company. We’re going full-time into this.’” Klotz said.
The app automates the booking process from start to finish all on one simple platform, benefitting individuals and staffing agencies alike.
A note from MTC Director Bill Anderson
“The fact that Popbookings recognized a technology opportunity that no one else did, took advantage of that opportunity, and built a product from scratch really speaks to the innovation of the company. Popbookings has brought to the forefront and industry that a lot of people don’t know exists, and we are excited to see what else it will contribute to our state’s growing startup community.”
In the industry, talent people must be registered with 30 to 50 different agencies and log into several different systems just to get consistent work. With Popbookings, however, they can be registered with just one profile across multiple agencies.
The app’s features don’t stop there. Once an agency books someone through the platform, a thorough check-in process takes place.
Each worker is geocoded, allowing the booking agency to see them check in on site and confirm that they’re really there.
“We’re like the Uber of event staffing,” Klotz said.
Popbookings has certainly taken off, and the startup continues to grow and succeed. In just three short years, the company has grown from a team of three to nine and secured nearly two million in capital.
Of the two million, more than half came from a recent round that will allow Popbookings to hire additional staff and expand into international markets.
Playing a significant role in the startup’s fundraising success are investors like the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC).
Not only has MTC invested in Popbookings, but it has also helped the startup learn a lot about the fundraising process.
“When you’re first starting out and you’re doing your first round ever, they really help guide you through that process,” Klotz said. “They help get you to the point where you’re ready for that next level.”
Klotz added that having MTC as an investor has helped other investors have confidence in the company.
“When we’re having investor conversations and throw out the name MTC, it carries a lot of weight,” she said.
As for the future, Popbookings has big plans. The startup recently added the construction industry to its client base and is on its way to adding other types of highly temporary labor.
“Really starting to move into vertical markets is our next big market plan” Klotz said.