PeopleMatter (copy)

The Charleston-based human-resources software startup PeopleMatter was sold to Snag in 2016. File/Staff 

Snag — the Virginia-based owner of PeopleMatter — has a new leader, a veteran of the human-resources software industry who takes over amid ambitious expansion plans.

The company's new chief executive is Fabio Rosati, who previously ran Upwork, a startup that connects freelancers to gigs. That company has raised more than $160 million and moved this week to go public. Rosati ran the company for 14 years, until 2001.

Snag, which used to be called Snagajob, has similar ambitions, and it's already one of the biggest job boards in the country for hourly jobs. The company's clients include names like Kroger, Marriott, McDonald's and UPS.

Snag says it brokered 5 million hires last year, which it says is equivalent to one in four jobs in retail stores, restaurants and hospitality businesses.

The company's growth accelerated with the acquisition two years ago of PeopleMatter, a Charleston-grown HR tech startup. While Snag focused on promoting job openings, PeopleMatter worked on the process and paperwork of getting new hires ready to work.

That work has been especially important in Snag's new ambition: hourly work on demand. The company is piloting a program that lets employers hire workers a shift at a time, expanding the so-called gig economy from car services like Uber to kitchens and stores.

"Fabio Rosati brings to Snag a successful track record as a leader and innovator in marketplace platform businesses, particularly in the on-demand work space," board member Habib Kairouz, managing partner of Rho Capital Partners, said in a statement. "I can think of no one better suited to guide the teams and the technology that will take the company to the next level of success."

It has also begun pushing into Canada, and it has hinted at ambitions for an initial public offering. Those plans are thought to be a few years out, but the company recently closed a new round of financing totaling $18 million, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. All told, it has secured nearly $160 million in investments.

Rosati takes over for Peter Harrison, who was Snag's CEO for five years. Harrison will stay on as an adviser to the company's management.

British expansion

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The Q, a Charleston-based live trivia game, is moving into the United Kingdom with the help of News Corp.

The game show was founded late last year as a competitor to HQ Trivia, which first introduced the idea of an interactive mobile game show. Both games feature regularly scheduled trivia competitions, in which smartphone users answer questions for a chance at winning money.

The Q was launched by the video-streaming service Stream, which is headquartered on Daniel Island. It's essentially a bet that there's room for more than one interactive game, and The Q has tried different approaches to find its niche.

One of them is to let other businesses use its platform. It has had T-Mobile and Pandora sponsor games, for instance, and it's now expanding internationally with partnership deals.

The U.K. game is run by News U.K., a newspaper conglomerate owned by News Corp. The company owns papers like The (London) Times and The Sun, and the group is controlled by the Murdoch family.

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703. Follow him on Twitter @thadmoore.