Birmingham startup Croux gets $1M pre-seed investment

Croux, a Birmingham-based startup, has garnered its pre-seed funding round.

Birmingham startup Croux gets $1M pre-seed investment

With a $1 million investment, a Birmingham-based startup has expanded its reach outside of the Magic City.

TitletownTech is an early-stage venture firm that was formed through a partnership of the Green Bay Packers, Microsoft and a group investors.

According to a press release, the development follows a year of rapid growth, in which Croux helped fill more than 3,000 shifts for local businesses and paid employees, on average nearly 2.5 times minimum wage, every shift.

The statement read: "For those who have come from the hospitality sector, this growth is unreal and humbling." We -- restaurant operators, chefs, gig workers, and one software developer -- founded Croux in the wake of the pandemic, after we saw our colleagues' businesses shut down and the exodus from the industry. We knew that the hospitality industry needed to change to survive and we thought its future began with better treatment for the people working in it.

Giving Kitchen, an organization that offers emergency assistance to food workers in crisis across the country, has partnered up with Croux.

Jen Hidinger Kendrick, Senior Director of Community Engagement at Croux and co-founder of the Stability Network, said that Giving Kitchen's Stability Network provides food service workers with a variety of resources. Some of these help to prevent crises down the road, while others help when a crisis has already occurred. Croux, as an employment resource for those already working in the foodservice industry, is a wonderful addition to our Stability Network catalog. It offers financial stability through flexible work options.

Giving Kitchen will pay $50 as a shift bonus for the first and $100 for the 5th shifts worked by Talent who signs up with Croux.

The founders' statement read: "The hospitality sector contributes more than 10% of our country's GNP." The talent in the hospitality industry faces challenges that many people do not recognize. They often work multiple jobs to support their families and themselves, lack reliable transportation, healthcare, childcare, or even access to a bank. Croux empowers talent in this sector by providing flexible work options for everyone, regardless of their experience or background. They also offer fast payments and rewards for well-done jobs, as well as discounted benefits.

Croux is an online platform that matches talent with flexible employment opportunities in the hospitality sector. It allows venues, event companies and restaurants to easily find qualified workers for open shifts. The company has recently moved to Innovation Depot.

Jennifer Ryan, co-founder and CEO of the company, was also a founding member. Ryan worked for 10 years in the Goldman Sachs sector before moving into the technology industry. In 2019, she opened Blueroot in Birmingham. Ryan's team includes a group of industry veterans, including those who have worked at Sysco and Jimmy John's as well as owned and operated local hospitality businesses.