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Chris Pitchford (Dir. of Growth), Daniel Chen (CTO), Brett Patrontasch (CEO), Kyle Liu (Lead Mobile Developer).
Chris Pitchford (director of growth), Daniel Chen (CTO), Brett Patrontasch (CEO), Kyle Liu (lead mobile developer).

Shyft Technologies, a Seattle-based startup that helps people trade shifts with co-workers, today announced it has received $1.5 million in seed funding.

The investment is led by Madrona Venture Group and angels investors that include vice president and general counsel at Indix Corp. Heather Redman, former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Russell Okung, Seattle Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez, and startup veteran T.A. McCann.

Shyft CEO
Shyft CEO Brett Patrontasch at Techstars Seattle Demo Day earlier this year.

Users are connected based on their location and employer. The app lets people post shifts they need covered or take other people’s shifts. Users can offer incentives like a tip for covering a shift.

“Shift workers want flexibility in their schedules but until now changing schedules required a convoluted and time consuming chain of disconnected social media channels and phone calls,” Brett Patrontasch, founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Shyft connects workers directly with others at their location and lets them quickly and easily exchange and cover shifts.”

Shyft says its user base has grown by more than 400 percent in the last three months. S. “Soma” Somasegar of Madrona wrote in a blog post about the firm’s investment in Shyft that workers at a third of all U.S. Starbucks locations are using the app.

Patrontasch founded the company with three others he met at University of Toronto: CTO Daniel Chen, Lead Mobile Developer Kyle Liu, and Director of Growth Chris Pitchford. The company is part of the most recent Seattle TechStars class.

The co-founders developed a workplace product prior to Shyft, but pivoted after realizing that they focused too much on the employer.

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