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Orka enters administration three years after £29m round

Orka administration
Image credit: Orka

Manchester-based flexible working startup Orka has entered administration three years after securing £29m in funding.

Orka, which offered flexible pay and labour solutions for workers, entered administration on Wednesday, according to Companies House filings.

Speaking to the Business Desk, Orka founder Tom Pickersgill said the decision was “the right thing to do”.

Pickersgill said the business had “plenty of potential”, but “it’s hell out there at the moment trying to raise money for a tech business”.

He added: “We did everything we possibly could, we made some really tough calls, we made some redundancies last year, which was just devastating to do to a team that had built up and put so much effort into the business.”

Orka has raised more than £33m since it was co-founded in 2016 by Pickersgill. Products from the company included Orka Pay, a tool for workers to access wages early, and Orka Works, a labour-as-a-service platform for workers and employers to flexibly fill shifts.

Investors in the company include Praetura Ventures and the UK government-owned British Business Bank.

The firm’s £29m round in 2021, led by Sonovate, was a mixture of equity investment and debt financing. The most recent financial report from the company, published in July last year, said the company owed £584,726.

Orka is the latest tech company to collapse following a downturn in the funding market, with Twig, Arrival and Onto all entering administration since last summer.