Spare5 Mobile Working App Raises $10m in Series A Funding

Tim Maytom

spare5Spare5 has raised $10m (£6.3m) in a Series A funding round led by Foundry Group, New Enterprise Associates and  Madrona Venture Group to finance its app which enables businesses to outsource simple tasks.

The app lets businesses put simple, menial tasks like tagging images, cleaning up data, classifying content and double checking information in the hands of the public, crowdsourcing smartphone users who earn a small amount of money for taking care of a few tasks in their spare time.

The app is a essentially a version of Amazon's Mechanical Turk software, but centred on mobile users who might complete tasks while waiting for transport, sitting in waiting rooms or similar situations.

The company will use the new funding to grow its community management capabilities, along with expanding its engineering, design and marketing departments and improving its customer relationship management.

As many industries become increasingly automated, so-called "human intelligence tasks" like judging which photo is more attractive for a rental listing take up larger portions of worker time. These tasks are beyond the capabilities of computers, but also relatively unskilled and so solutions like Spare5 will become more common as firms look to prioritise worker time on more valuable activities.

"There will always be data challenges that businesses can't solve with computing power alone," said Matt Bencke, CEO and co-founder of Spare5. "We're using technology to scale the unique capabilities of the human mind. For our customers, it's a fast and cost-effective way to achieve results that would otherwise be impossible."