Berkeley startup MobileWorks revolutionizes outsourcing

A Berkeley-based startup is trying to change the way the world works on a global scale.
February 18, 2014 8:54:44 PM PST
A Berkeley-based startup is trying to change the way the world works. Its clients can be anywhere and its employees are everywhere. It's a new company that's on a job-sourcing mission and it's called MobileWorks.

"To create jobs for people who don't have access to traditional job market," said MobilWorks Co-Founder Prayag Narula.

It began as a graduate school project at the University of California, Berkeley.

"I don't think either of us thought, when we first began, that this would be something that's built out to be as big as it has," said MobileWorks CEO and Co-Founder Anand Kulkarni.

After winning a class contest, the MobileWorks group got into Y-Combinator, a startup accelerator that got them investors like Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian.

We've raised $2.1 million to date," said Kulkarni.

All for a startup that's a fresh take on outsourcing.

"They can choose to outsource in a way that makes the world better," said Kulkarni.

MobileWorks hires mostly college graduates with skills like research, writing and editing photos. Companies come to them with a task and they find the right workers to do it. They can work from anywhere. It's all online.

"The biggest secret sauce that we have is that we believe in paying people fair wages. We believe that if people are invested in the projects, they would do better work," said Narula.

Part of the decor in the new Berkeley office is a map of the world, covered in photos of workers, some of them in developing countries.

"I've been here almost three months exactly. It'll be three months tomorrow," said MobileWorks employee Andrew Karbel.

Karbel got promoted and now he supervises workers writing marketing emails.

"I think whether I, you know, open my own business or whatever I do; ultimately, this experience will be valuable," he said.

Then there's Imran who spoke with ABC7 News from his home in Kenya.

"I joined MobileWorks with the interest of becoming a manager," he said.

Now he's saving for graduate school.

"I could not afford it, but after joining the MobileWorks team and getting the good pay I'm now going forward to do my Master's soon," said Imran.

MobileWorks is giving people halfway around the world a little piece of economic recovery.

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