Austrian startup Gronda has closed a funding round of €1.5 million to expand internationally. The investment was carried out by the existing investors Speedinvest, karriere.at and Howzat Partners, with MairDumont’s shares being taken over from karriere.at.
Gronda, founded in 2016, is Europe’s largest network for food and beverage (F&B) professionals. Chefs and service staff can find their dream job on Gronda and learn new skills for free, and partner hotels and restaurants can access the largest F&B talent pool in Europe. Currently, Gronda is used by more than 250,000 qualified specialists, so companies are guaranteed to find top employees. The platform also helps companies with their employer branding. Gronda currently cooperates with more than 500 partner companies in five countries, such as Kempinski Hotels, Hotel Sacher in Salzburg, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts as well as Hilton and Marriott.
The shortage of skilled workers is not only a challenge for the Austrian and German hospitality industry, but also means that restaurateurs and hotel owners across Europe are reaching their limits. Gronda has tackled exactly this problem and connects employers and skilled workers on an international basis.
Speedinvest partner Marie Helene Ametsreiter sees Gronda as a forward-thinking company that can fundamentally change the hospitality sector. “We like to invest in specialized digital marketplaces because they enable uncomplicated and efficient matching of supply and demand. Gronda is a successful example”, says Ametsreiter.
Gronda’s goal for this year is the registration of one million users on its platform and jobs from more than 12 European countries.
“This would make us the largest F&B community worldwide and would lay the foundation for further internationalization beyond Europe“, says Valentin Schütz, Co-Founder and CEO of Gronda. “Hotels and restaurants will have to think beyond borders in the future in order to get enough employees. In Europe we have to have an European mindset to solve the shortage of skilled workers. Nowadays it’s easily possible to hire employees from Italy or Spain. The biggest hurdle for international employees is still the question of trust. We therefore want to simplify and standardize the application and recruitment process so that every hospitality business can hire employees from all over Europe in a simple and uncomplicated manner.”