Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News | Other Stuff

 

Freelancer.com: How To Monetize 5 Billion People

Apr 2 2014, 7:11am CDT | by

2 Updates
Freelancer.com: How To Monetize 5 Billion People
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Freelancer.com: How To Monetize 5 Billion People

Almost two-thirds of the global population – five billion people – have yet to access the internet.  They live on $10 a day. They want to earn $10 an hour.

Selling services online will be their best route out of poverty, according to Freelancer.com’s Matt Barrie.  His company now has more than 10 million registered users – the largest such site in the world – with more than four million projects completed.

“We’re eBay for jobs,” says Barrie, in London for the launch of the company’s European headquarters at Tech City, close to the capital’s financial district, buzzing with start-ups and cappuccinos.

Any time, any place

“Today, all the white collar jobs are done on computers, so anyone, anywhere, can do a job for you.”

The majority of Freelancer.com’s projects are posted from the US and Europe, while most of those performing the work are in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Altogether the company operates 40 regional websites, supporting 32 languages and 19 currencies, with jobs divided into 650 categories.  Its most recent accounts show a market cap of A$650 million (US$600 million), revenue up 77% on the previous year and 350 direct employees.

Much of the growth has been fuelled by 11 acquisitions, as Barrie, aged 40, has “rolled up the space” to become global market leader, at least by user numbers.

With his shaved head and focused gaze, he has a contact sportsman’s approach to business: ready to take out the opposition.

Winner takes all

“We want to be in every country, every language, every currency where people work on computers.  The online marketplace trend is towards ‘winner takes all’, so we need to get big quickly.”

A typical Freelancer.com user is looking for a website designer, with good functionality, speed and attractive graphics, along with an SEO service.  A few years ago (and still to this day, if you use US or Western European companies) this would cost upwards of $5,000.

Through Freelancer.com, it can be just a few hundred dollars.  “We have guys in Asia making US$1 million a year, with 110 workers churning out US$200 websites,” he says.

As a child Barrie spent a couple of years in Indonesia, before returning to his native Australia.  After college in Sydney and then grad school in electronic engineering at Stanford, he spotted the market opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs to outsource their services.

“It’s only in the last three years that homes in Indonesia have had ADSL links,” says Barrie.  “We’re enabling people to get technology jobs which are desperately needed; they bring prosperity to them and their families.”

Barrie enjoys being at the centre of such a disruptive technology: small businesses in the west to improve their profit margins, while living standards and economic prospects rise in emerging nations.

Solutions for emerging economies

“Developing countries like Malaysia believe that micro working online is the solution for the bottom 20% of earners.  We have contracts with the Malaysian government, teaching people to use websites and learning trades.”

Barrie lectures in ‘technology value creation’ at the University of Sydney and contributes to business magazines on how to boost enterprise through outsourcing.

In November 2013 Freelancer.com listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), where it debuted at A$0.50 and quickly shot up to more than A$2.60, briefly valuing the company at more than A$1 billion.

Today its shares trade at around A$1.50, still valuing the company far above the A$400 million (US$380 million) that Japanese rival Recruiter offered last year.

Barrie knows that, so long as these billions of people continue to get online (numbers have tripled in the past decade), small businesses and entrepreneurs become more confident at outsourcing to emerging economies, and workers continue to educate themselves online, his business model can only grow.

Influential thinker

He’s already won Australian Entrepreneur of the Year and was picked by LinkedIn as one of the world’s most influential business thinkers.

So watch out for Matt Barrie.  Five billion people are lining up to prove him right.

Follow me on Twitter – @fljournalist – like www.facebook.com/freelancejournalist.co.uk or visit www.freelancejournalist.co.uk

 

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 2

Two Views of Independent Work in the Sharing Economy

Source: Small Business Labs

Two articles with very different points of view on work in the sharing economy were published this weekend. The New York Times article In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty presents an unflattering view. Key quote: ... peer marketplaces as part of a larger global phenomenon, in which labor brokers encourage people to work on contingency without basic employment benefits or protections. The companies essentially channel one-off tasks to the fastest taker or lo ...
Source: Small Business Labs   Full article at: Small Business Labs 2 days ago, 3:00am CDT
 


Advertisement


More From the Web

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Jill and Derick Dillard Are Expecting a Baby
The happy couple, who are due in March, have been having fun sharing their news with their family.
 
 
Kate Upton takes Ice Bucket Challenge
Kate Upton takes Ice Bucket Challenge
Kate Upton and his boyfriend Justin Verlander also take the viral Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS Foundation. See the video of Kate Upton completing Ice Bucket Challenge below.
 
 
Anna Nichole Smith Estate Loses Case for 44 Million
Anna Nichole Smith Estate Loses Case for 44 Million
Her daughter will get nothing from late husband.
 
 
Super Bowl 2015 Half-time Show Performers get Asked for Money
Super Bowl 2015 Half-time Show Performers get Asked for Money
The NFL reportedly is asking performers to pay up if they want to play the Super Bowl 2015 half-time show.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.