Shiftgig scoops up BookedOut, strengthening its position in experiential marketing

Andreas Rekdal

A Chicago tech fixture just strengthened its position significantly.

Mobile on-demand job marketplace Shiftgig announced on Tuesday that it has acquired BookedOut, a logistics platform for experiential marketing. The companies, both of which are based in Chicago, see the merger as an opportunity to strengthen their foothold in the marketplace for on-demand work.

“We share a very similar vision, which is connecting businesses with qualified, vetted people via mobile device,” said Shiftgig CEO Eddie Lou. “As opposed to us running in two different directions — and in some cases we might compete here and there — we decided it made sense to combine resources so we can achieve this vision.”

After starting off with a narrow focus on offering shifts for professionals in the foodservice industry, Shiftgig started to pivot last year in order to expand into additional verticals like hotel, retail and experiential marketing, the latter of which has been BookedOut’s sole focus since its founding in 2014.

In November 2015, Shiftgig raised a $22 million round to support that expansion.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Lou said the company’s integration team is still working out the exact details of how the combined company will be structured. But 32 of BookedOut’s employees joined the Shiftgig team at its new 17,000 square foot office space on Monday.

“I’ve been in discussions with people at BookedOut over the past year, but we started talking in earnest early this summer about how combining the two companies could be a win-win situation,” said Lou. “Together we are the leading player in experiential marketing, and there’s a lot of like-minded people trying to solve the same problems.”

Founded in 2011, Shiftgig has raised $35 million in funding to date. The acquisition puts the company’s employee count just shy of 200.

"We are thrilled about the transaction and the opportunities it will provide for our clients, our partners, and employees," said Jay Lenstrom, CEO of BookedOut in a statement. "BookedOut helps agencies and consumer brands maximize the impact of a mobile workforce through best in class technology and service and in combination with Shiftgig would further enhance that capability."

Both teams are still actively hiring.

Image via Shiftgig.

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