Aiming to help keep women in workforce, Durham female exec’s startup lands investors

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DURHAM – In the wake of the pandemic, a women-led startup aimed at keeping women in the workforce is taking off.

Durham-based Allobee connects business owners nationwide to a vetted workforce of “experienced, professional women who have left the traditional nine to five.”

Since its official launch in May, its founder and CEO Brooke Markevicius says traffic to the platform has jumped by 107 percent.

Clients are also returning at a rate of over 75 percent, as remote working becomes the norm.

Those numbers have Stargazer Ventures and a network of angel investors now pouring around $500,000 into the startup to help it scale quickly.

“It’s an immediate response and solution for the impacts of COVID-19 on women and businesses,” says Markevicius.

The pandemic is having a devastating effect on working women.

A recent survey from Durham’s InHerSight revealed that 68 percent of women have considered quitting their jobs to take care of their children. That percentage is even higher, 74 percent, among women who are working outside the home
The short-term effect: Women are leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men.

That’s a major problem, says Markevicius, a mother of two herself.

She believes women and caregivers are “underutilized” workforce, and says the key to keeping them in the workforce is “flexibility.”

“At its core, I designed flexible solutions through Allobee with mothers and caregivers in mind because that’s what I needed.”
Tapping a workforce

Back in 2015, Markevicius was a new mother working at a delivery startup in Charlotte. She says she was forced out of her job due to the lack of flexibility.

However, when she decided to start freelancing, she realized her options were limited.

That’s when she came up with the idea behind the platform, which she originally launched as MOMentum Market. Last August, she rebranded the startup as Allobee.

At present, the company has three full-time employees, 20 account managers and multiple contractors.

Services range from bookkeeping and tech support, to podcast editing, website development, graphic design, or social media.

Allobee handles all project management for the work and rematches, if needed.

Markevicius says the company plans to use the funds for “customer acquisition and brand awareness.”

It’s also hiring a full-time engineer to “iterate the platform as well as scale quickly and methodically.”

Early investor Silvia Aguirre remains optimistic.

“They are an agile, female focused, technology-driven company with a purpose to invest in empowering women,” she told WRAL TechWire. “There is so much opportunity with Allobee for women realizing their dreams of being independent and self-sufficient.”

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire