While 2020 may be one of the most challenging fiscal years in recent history, some companies are emerging from the crisis that smells like roses. Just over a year after it went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), freelance marketplace Fiverr is launching a new platform designed to help larger companies manage and collaborate on projects with freelancers.
The Israeli company’s stocks began rising rapidly around the time the world stalled, and have grown to more than $ 124 million today – nearly six times their value in mid-March. This also correlated with Fiverr’s key stats, where “active buyers” rose 12% from April to June, compared to a typical quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase closer to 5%. Additionally, Fiverr̵
To capitalize on this growth, Fiverr is building on existing business-centric tools related to “team collaboration for the future of work,” as the company puts it.
“As a company whose vision for the past 10 years has been a future based on a distant and flexible workforce, that vision is closer to reality today than ever before,” Shira Levy Barkan, general manager of Fiverr Business, told VentureBeat.
Fiverr Business was originally made available in February as part of a beta program and is open to all businesses today. This also marks Fiverr’s first attempt at subscriptions and opens the door to a more predictable and regular source of income. It’s free for the first year after signing up. After that, the platform costs $ 149 annually for up to 50 users.
Founded in 2010 in Tel Aviv, Fiverr is one of several marketplaces where freelancers can sell their wares, be it graphic design, digital marketing, translation, video production, voice-over or anything else that can be done online. Fiverr Business aims to integrate these freelancers into the company’s existing workflows so that corporate departments can more easily work together and manage their projects together.
For example, administrators can create purchasing policies that specify which orders must be approved by a higher-level person. This may apply to all orders or only to orders over a certain value.
The Fiverr Business dashboard also has a chat interface that anyone involved can use to post their comments on work submitted by a freelancer.
Ultimately, Fiverr Business centralizes everything so that the status of all orders and projects can be viewed and filtered on a single screen.
Fiverr added that its new business product has an “additional layer of quality assurance” that includes internal reviews and past performance. The offering is initially curated by Fiverr’s artificial intelligence, with final candidates being hand-picked by Fiverr’s staff.
The future of work
While digital platforms like Fiverr may fill a COVID-sized void in the global workforce, the company has been criticized in the past for glorifying the exploitation that is widespread in the gig economy, such as: B. Inexpensive labor and zero-hour contracts. Beginning in 2017, Fiverr ran large advertising campaigns apparently celebrating jobs that offer a poor work-life balance – “depressing,” as some ads called it.
The “gig economy” is literally killing us.
The most depressing ad of the day goes to: @fiverr 🙃 pic.twitter.com/xq0sxsL55t
– it is B! Cavello 🐝 (@b_cavello) March 9, 2017
Despite all of the negative headlines and criticism Fiverr has garnered, it has grown strong when other companies stalled.
“We’ve grown a lot as a company since then,” said Levy Barkan. “At that time, it was our unapologetic gathering cry for our community, our way of standing up for them and showing them that we were there for them and that we understood their struggles, but also their successes. Real people were featured using our platform, real freelancers, entrepreneurs and decision makers from all over the country. “
Fiverr’s continued growth is also testament to what else is happening in the world. Indeed, the big shift to remote working took place well before the COVID-19 crisis, but the pandemic has helped fuel that movement. This may be more relevant given the large number of job losses in the US and elsewhere. As companies may not be ready to hire full-time positions, the door is opening to freelance marketplaces like Fiverr.
“Since COVID-19 forced the world into social and economic blockades, every aspect of business and work has been turned on its head,” Levy Barkan continued. “Remote work and digital transformation are no longer options, but necessities to survive and thrive. Fiverr’s platform has become an important place businesses can turn to for skilled support and solutions, and where talent is looking for opportunity and income. “