WORKER-LED NETWORK ORGANISE REACHES 1.7 MILLION WORKERS IN THE UK
Organise, the global worker-led network for fixing employment and campaigning for better pay and working conditions, has now hit an active user base of over 1.7 million workers in the UK.
The global network has been growing at speed since 2020; now, a significant 5.1% of the UK working population is registered on the network. 750,000 ‘actions’ are taken every month, from survey responses and petition signatures to official letters and emails sent to CEOs, MPs, and company boards.
Organise is powered by seed funding of £2.4million, raised by founders Nat Whalley and Bex Hay in 2021. Funder portfolios include the founders of; Transferwise, Candycrush and izettle and Kickstarter.
Co-founders and professional activists Nat Whalley and Bex Hay first met in 2015. Both were working as campaign managers – Nat in grassroots political activism and Bex at 38 Degrees, which was then the UK’s biggest tech platform for campaigning.
Organise is now recognised as one of the UK’s fastest-growing and most innovative social impact tech startups; it has now launched in the US and is growing 40% MOM, with 40,000 members registered in the US since May.
The origins of Organise began when a mutual friend was unexpectedly fired from her well-paid corporate position, despite being pregnant at the time. As Bex explains, “The more we explored our friend’s rights and options, the more we realised that when workers are being unfairly treated, they really have nowhere to go for support or to take collective action.”
“As women in the working world, both of us had experienced harassment in previous roles, and neither of us had been able to do anything about it,” adds Nat. “We knew that HR wasn’t really there to represent our interests, and we started to see that a huge number of workers were in a similar position – voiceless, isolated, and prone to exploitation because they have so little power.”
Before going on to co-found Organise, Bex was appointed CTO at 38 Degrees, as well as being dubbed the ‘thorn in the side of Jeff Bezos’ after co-founding Amazon Anonymous, a mass movement that successfully secured a living wage for all UK Amazon workers.
Nat took 38 Degrees to a revenue of £5 million per year, built through user subscriptions, before establishing herself as an independent campaigning consultant for clients such as the Open Progressive Engagements Network (OPEN), The ONE Campaign, and WeMove.eu.
In her spare time, she began building Organise as a worker-led network where people could share their issues, pool knowledge and resources and, ultimately, take action to seek resolution. The network gained swift momentum, accruing 90,000 members in just two years and facilitating a series of positive workplace outcomes for workers.
By the close of 2019, Nat had become full-time CEO of Organise, while Bex was back in the picture, returning to their shared mission as CTO of the burgeoning network.
“At this point, the pandemic hit, and we saw an explosion in demand as workers began reporting pay issues, health and safety concerns, even things like customer servicing problems,” says Nat. “Our membership quadrupled during the first lockdown and has continued increasing rapidly ever since.”
“Our goal is to give working people the security and confidence to share their workplace concerns and gain a better understanding of the problems they’re facing – and how to tackle them,” says Bex.
Organise has enabled its members to take action and launch successful campaigns against unjust practices at some of the world’s biggest companies, including McDonald’s, Ted Baker, Amazon, Uber and Deliveroo.
A Google & FT Top 100 Digital Champion (2018) and an MIT: Inclusive Innovation Challenge Winner (2019). The network was recognised as the standout winner in the FT, and Sifted’s Pioneers of the Post-Pandemic World awards (2020) Organise has recently been announced as part of The Scale Up Club for 2022.