Freelancer.com, the world’s biggest online marketplace matching freelancers with potential employers, has bought Scriptlance, the Canadian firm which operates a similar business in its own market.
The deal will take Freelancer.com’s users to around 4 million and cement its position as the global market leader in the sector, with two-and-a-half times more users than its nearest rival. The site has so far seen employers post 2.3 million requests for freelancers to offer their services for different projects.
Scriptlance is the market leader in Canada but has users from almost 250 countries around the world and has seen 600,000 project requests so far.
The sites work similarly. Employers post details of the work they need doing, with freelancers then asked to submit bids to fulfil the contract online. Both sides pay fees, but only once projects have been successfully completed.
Work available on the site spans a wide variety of disciplines, from obvious online projects such as digital media to more conventional work such as interior design or biotechnology.
René Trescases, the chief executive and founder of Scriptlance, said: “Selling to Freelancer.com made a lot of sense for us – it has the number one brand and the best scale and geographic reach of anyone in the industry”.
Freelancer.com’s breadth of work also provides it with key insights into job trends in many markets. For example, its latest Fast 50 survey, published this week, reveals that Apple appears to be moving away from its rivals on mobile phone applications. The number of new jobs related to work on iPhone apps posted during the second quarter of the year was up by 30 per cent, Freelancer.com said. By contrast, jobs related to apps that work on the rival Android platform were up by only 20 per cent.
By David Prosser, Editor of Freelancing Matters magazine