Fiverr, the freelance marketplace that began by encouraging freelancers to specify services they would sell for – yep, you’ve guessed it – a fiver, has come in for a lot of criticism since its inception in 2010. But CEO Micha Kaufman claims the site has gone from strength to strength – and that the future of Fiverr is bright.
“When we started Fiverr almost six years ago, however, people were sceptical about the potential of the platform and some thought of it as a gimmick. Today, we are a place where small businesses consume nearly one million freelance projects per month to help their businesses thrive,” says Kaufman.
Over the last few years, the Tel Aviv-based company has managed to attract significant investment. It now has offices in New York City, Chicago and Miami too, and claims to be ‘the world’s most transacted marketplace for digital services’, with users in 196 countries buying or selling tasks, referred to as Gigs®.
“We started Fiverr to prove that you can bring the world of freelance creative services online and make buying Gigs as easy as purchasing a flat-screen TV online,” said Micha Kaufman, CEO, Fiverr. “Today, we see more freelancers shifting their business online, which grabs the attention of investors, and they’re driving the overall size of the marketplace to dizzying new heights. With the Gig economy workforce expected to hit 43 percent of the total U.S. workforce by 2020, we’re bullish about the economic opportunities we’ll create in the near future for our community.”
Certainly some investors, both old and new, seem to share Kaufman’s confidence. Fiverr have just announced $60 million in new financing led by Square Peg Capital, with existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel and Qumra Capital also adding substantial new financing, bringing the total amount raised by Fiverr to $110 million.
“The new investment by Square Peg Capital and the additional investments from Bessemer, Accel and Qumra Capital as well as from private investors like Jonathan Kolber and Guy Gamzu are tremendous validation for the vision that we’re bringing to life,” said Kaufman, Fiverr’s CEO. “This funding from new and existing partners will help expand our geographic footprint, compete for new talent, add innovative new features and more aggressively grow our company, potentially by acquiring other businesses in our space.”
In a blog post message to Fiverr uses, he added: “This investment strengthens Fiverr for the foreseeable future and allows us to continue, heads down, running hard to fully realize our vision…. and, most importantly — invest in your success.”
Kaufman also assured Fiverr users that they are being listened too, and that this is the basis for the further development of the marketplace structure. “A few months ago we started to experiment with giving our sellers more pricing flexibility, including allowing changing the base price of a Gig. I’m excited to let you know that over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing new Gig Packages across several sub-categories.
Kaufman calls the Gig Packages “a natural evolution of our business,” and says the improvements will help freelancers earn more, compete for larger projects and create greater value for buyers. “It should also create greater transparency and less friction with buyers.”
So how do these Packages work? The Fiverr site explains:
“Packages allow you to combine your basic Gig with built-in revisions and Extras to create an offer that gives buyers exactly what they want. Sellers have the freedom to position their services exactly how they want to, at a price they choose. Buyers can order exactly what they need in just one click. Buyers and sellers are totally aligned on what’s included in the order from the start, so there’s no reason for lots of back and forth communication about what the Gig includes.”
It seems this won’t be the end of development, though.
“We’ll continue to roll out new features that make Fiverr an even more indispensable part of this community’s lives,” says Kaufman. “It’s been an amazing journey, but we are not done. In fact, the best is yet to come.”