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Bluecrew 2015 Growth

February 27, 2019
min read
Cooper Newby

At Bluecrew, we operate a marketplace for on-demand staffing. We primarily staff warehouse, commercial moving, data entry, and customer service jobs. Combined, temporary work in these sectors comprises a $35 billion market in the US, according to IBISWorld Industry Report[1]. Unlike most contemporary on-demand work platforms, we hire our workers as W2 employees with benefits and career growth opportunities. This provides a compelling reason to work for Bluecrew long-term. By collecting data about our workers' locations as they sign up to our platform, we can present a time-lapse map of our workforce growth in the bay area.

We believe that well-run, centralized marketplaces create better outcomes, at scale, for consumers and workers. Specifically, innovation in marketplaces presents one of the largest business opportunities of this decade.

Honestly, this isn't a very bold claim. In the last five years, Silicon Valley's two most prominent successes (measured by known private valuation) both maintain marketplaces: Airbnb and Uber. Airbnb serves as a marketplace for unused rental capacity. Until governments worldwide decide how to regulate driverless cars, Uber's marketplace primarily coordinates human labor.  

Consumers and drivers benefit from the centralization of Uber's platform. First, Uber controls who can participate in its marketplace, and how they can participate, by restricting the types and ages of vehicles on its platform and by requiring a thorough vetting process for drivers. Drivers and passengers with low ratings are funneled off the platform. Second, prices for passengers can vary drastically based on the supply of and demand for drivers. Further, routes for trips are optimized based on the proximity of drivers to passengers’ pickup locations. Bluecrew serves a similar function in the temporary staffing marketplace. We use a rigorous process to evaluate our workers and monitor their performance by collecting data. Workers with a poor performance and attendance track record are removed from our platform. We match workers to jobs based on complementary skillsets.

Centralized marketplaces present advantages that result in superior outcomes for sellers and buyers. To disincentivize fraud, centralization can provide all parties recourse in transactions that were executed in bad faith. For instance, Uber's passengers take it for granted that their drivers will actually show up and drive to the selected destination, because Uber will ban drivers who do not fulfill their obligations. By actively ensuring that both parties fulfill their promises, Uber's drivers and passengers learn to trust Uber's service. Similarly, Bluecrew works to build this trust for our customers and workers. If customers cancel jobs or have a poor working environment, workers feel negatively about their agency's ability to provide work. When workers "no-show" for jobs, customers feel that their vendor's crew is unreliable. Bluecrew actively limits "no-shows" by using historical performance data and location-based information about the workers that have committed to complete the job. Here is an example dashboard for this data use case:

At Bluecrew, we carefully use data to improve our operations and provide better experiences for our partners.

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