October 19, 2023

Black-Owned Startup Slinger Secures $600K To Make The CV Redundant

Black-owned tech startup Slinger has raised £500,000 ($600,000) in pre-seed funding to shake up the hospitality industry’s hiring process.

Brexit and COVID-19 have left the UK’s hospitality industry struggling with staff vacancies – industry vacancies are still 72% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As a result, the industry is having to turn away £25 billion ($30.3 billion) worth of business in the UK. 

Slinger aims to change this.

Group Chat To Google-backed

Founded by Theo-Lee Houston, Slinger aims to make hospitality hiring processes easier and fairer, connecting talent with businesses in a fresh way.

The London-born founder quit his banker job to work in hospitality, where he has spent the last 10 years in both customer-facing and business roles.

Houston’s experience of working with food stalls led him to create a Whatsapp group to connect businesses with staff.  Once the traction started to show, he realized he could create something to serve the industry’s needs, and Slinger was born.

“The hiring process for the hospitality industry is currently not fit for purpose and needs to be shaken up completely – we have a vision to make the CV redundant,” said Houston.

The platform replaces “outdated CVs” with videos and creative written submissions, and staff are vetted in advance to streamline the shift-booking process.  

Jobs on the platform must also meet the UK’s Real Living Wage commitment.

“As the work economy gets more flexible, temporary, and less rigid, we need to establish a system that makes freelancers, and businesses offering temp roles feel just as supported, safe, and nurtured within that,” Slinger states.

Slinger reports that the beta of its platform led to an 80% reduction in hiring costs and sped up the time taken to fill roles by 90% compared to conventional practices.

Slinger was selected for the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund and was part of the Barclays Black Ventures Growth Program.

Pre-Seed Funding

Slinger raised £500,000 ($600,000) in a pre-seed funding round was led by Fuel Ventures with participation from Andrew Gale, Dan Cobley (Ex-Google MD), Cornerstone Partners, and Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, among many others.

The investment aims to support the Slinger team to focus on three critical areas: ambitious product development, paid acceleration, and team growth.

The platform will be developed to provide a safe alternative to the hospitality industry’s ‘trail shift’ problem, human-first alternatives to the CV, and help Slinger’s reputation as a hiring solution.

Slinger will also develop a career program with mentorship, up-skilling, interview preparation, and work experience.

“Knowing the industry intimately, we know things such as CVs, trial shifts, and other outdated processes are not the best way to find quality workers,” said Houston.

“Our product development is laser-focused on developing more human-led Tech solutions to connect people with businesses in a sustainable way. This is the moment for Slinger to really show up for the hospitality industry as we want it to survive and thrive.”

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.