Australia's Rosterfy is redefining volunteer engagement in American cities.
Rosterfy’s workforce management technology platform is creating a seamless volunteer legacy for event host cities. The company is behind the Super Bowl, South by Southwest (SXSW) and the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
From Las Vegas to Boston and Los Angeles, Rosterfy is working with cities and tourism bodies across the United States. The company recruits volunteers for events, benefiting the community for years to come.
For the 2024 Super Bowl LVIII, Rosterfy is recruiting more than 5,000 volunteers. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will host the event. With a central volunteer base for the city (rather than the event itself), these volunteers can also apply for other major events. This includes the Las Vegas Grand Prix and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
‘An Australian company is now powering some of the world’s biggest events,’ says Bennett Merriman, Rosterfy’s CEO. ‘From the Landing Pads to today, Rosterfy is proud to have Austrade supporting our export journey.’
Founded in 2015, Rosterfy’s cloud-based platform allows customers to automate processes to recruit, screen, train and schedule volunteers. For volunteers, this means a more streamlined, personalised and importantly, engaging experience.
Rosterfy launched in the US and UK in 2019. Within 2 months, the company had 120,000 volunteers and 70 events on their platform. Today, Rosterfy has more than 3 million users on its system in 26 countries. This includes the US (its largest market), the UK, Europe, Singapore and New Zealand. Exports make up 70% of its business. In 2023, Rosterfy’s volunteer management software powered 10 million hours of volunteer work across the globe.
Based on its quality clients and rapid expansion, Rosterfy gained $9.8 million in capital from Bailador Technology Investments in 2023. David Kirk, Bailador’ s Managing Partner and former CEO of Fairfax Media, also joined the company as Rosterfy’s Chairman.
‘I recognise the important role that volunteers play in the not-for-profit sector’ says Kirk. ‘We’re excited to be partnering with the Rosterfy team as they accelerate their global growth.’
Volunteers at a football game in the US.
Rosterfy entered the US market after a previous customer and contact moved from one organisation (in the UK), to managing Super Bowl’s workforce (in the US). The customer engaged Rosterfy to power their volunteer team, having previously used the platform. This was the beginning of Rosterfy’s strong association with the NFL, having serviced the last 8 workforce management contracts for the Super Bowl.
While the win was welcome, Merriman also felt overwhelmed by Rosterfy’s quick success.
‘The US market can be daunting,’ says Merriman. ‘Signing the NFL gave us the confidence to apply for Austrade’s Landing Pads program.
‘Austrade gave us the confidence to get on that plane,’ adds Merriman. ‘There was no second guessing and no time to delay. With Austrade’s network, we knew we were never alone.’
Rosterfy was one of 5 companies selected for the San Francisco Landing Pad when Austrade launched the program in 2016. The program helped Rosterfy quickly understand the market, shaping the company’s strategic planning and helped it access the right sectors.
The Landing Pad provided a network of support to fast-track ideas, key introductions and early insights. Rosterfy aligned its Landing Pad trip with conferences, gaining warm leads and fast high-level access to industry bodies.
‘Without Austrade’s support, we would not have been on the ground as quickly as we did,’ says Merriman. ‘The program gave us the confidence to move offshore, and really understand the US market. Austrade got us out of the office, providing introductions and access to partners deeply embedded in the US and San Francisco tech ecosystem.’
Today, Rosterfy is servicing 80 clients in the US, with ambitions to grow revenue by 100% over a 12-month period. The company has worked with some of the country’s biggest cities including Houston, Minneapolis and Dallas. The US market generates close to $1.5 million in annual revenue for Rosterfy.
Rosterfy has also benefited from other Australian Government initiatives. This includes the Export Market Development Grant, Research and Development Tax Incentive and bespoke servicing from Austrade in-market.
Rosterfy is exploring opportunities to diversify its exports, not just to the US, but worldwide.
‘Every year, around 70 million Americans volunteer,’ says Merriman. ‘We hope that one day each of those volunteers, in America and globally, are using the Rosterfy platform.’
The San Francisco Landing Pads program is delivered as part of Austrade’s services to Australian business. It is co-designed by individuals who have raised over $500 million and scaled businesses from $0 to $50 million+. It operates as a bootcamp and is government-funded for eligible Australian companies.