L-R: Jack Beaman, Phil Houlihan and Novo Abakare
L-R: Jack Beaman, Phil Houlihan and Novo Abakare
Richard Bell

Flexible staffing startup Syft makes first acquisition

Flexible staffing platform Syft is making its first acquisition.

The London- and Manchester-based company has snapped up PBL Chefs, a culinary recruitment agency with 600 chefs working at all levels in the hospitality sector.

Financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, although Syft said it was concluded via a cash and shares arrangement.

All of London-based PBL Chefs’ team have remained on board, with PBL Chefs MD Phil Houlihan taking on the role of chef director.

Following the acquisition, Phil is now responsible for 1,000 chefs throughout the UK.

Syft was founded in 2015 by business partners Jack Beaman and Novo Abakare.

To date, the company has raised £8.75m with investors including Creandum, PROfounders Capital, Lord Young, David Haye and others.

Syft claims its app offers employers an average cost saving of 55% against the services of traditional temp agencies.

CEO Jack Beaman said: “We are really excited to bring Phil and his team over to Syft. We have worked with Phil for a year, so we are confident in his skills and the chefs he has working for him.

“Phil’s clients and chefs love him and his team, and we plan to achieve a lot more success together.”

He continued: “We are planning on investing heavily in chefs this year; our first priority is to ensure all the chefs we have get an increase in pay as well as the 200 perks all our workers at Syft benefit from.”

Phil Houlihan commented: “We have formed a great working partnership over the last couple of years, which has now been solidified as we aim to expand as one team.

“We share the same vision for how technology is changing the staffing industry and in particular driving up wages for workers.”

He added: “It was a big decision for me and wasn’t something I had considered, but after spending lots of time with Novo and Jack, it felt like the right thing to do. Everyone at PBL Chefs is very excited with what the future holds together.”

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