NPIF Equity

Haulage recruitment platform raises further £300k to drive growth

A recruitment platform which allows haulage operators to reduce costs has raised a further £300,000 to support its expansion plans.

Avail Technologies has secured further funding from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and directors including chairman Keverne Watt. It comes as the company moves to new headquarters in Stockton-on-Tees, where it plans to recruit a further five staff in the year ahead.

Founded by former British Army logistics specialist Erin Short, Avail removes the need for traditional recruitment agencies for short-term contracts, allowing hauliers to reduce costs and drivers to earn more and comply with IR35 legislation. The company, which was first backed by NPIF in 2019, has recently agreed a partnership with the industry body Logistics UK, part of the Freight Transport Association.

Erin Short (pictured), the company’s founder, said: “The pandemic has had a major impact on supply chains and the haulage industry. By improving efficiency and enabling them to recruit drivers remotely, our platform has helped firms to keep going in these uncertain times. With continued pressure on costs, it is all the more important for operators to minimise unnecessary expenses like recruitment fees to enable them to maintain profits and improve drivers’ wages.”

Simon Crabtree of Mercia added: “Avail is revolutionising the way haulage firms recruit drivers for short-term contracts. The company has already proved the success of its model and won recognition from some of the industry leaders. As we emerge from lockdown and freight levels return to normal, this latest funding will help it to expand its customer base and grow its team.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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