What is Freelancer.com and why did it buy Escrow.com?

TUESDAY,28 April 2015   THE DOMAINS

According to the news from Domain.cn 1(1)on April 28th,publicly traded freelance marketplace owns a number of businesses, including a website and domain name marketplace.

FreelancerYesterday (United States time), Freelancer.com announced that it acquired Escrow.com for US $7.5 million.

Freelancer.com is a publicly traded company in Australia with a market cap of about $450 million, but many people probably aren’t familiar with it.

The company is similar to oDesk/eLance, where people post jobs they need done and freelancers bid to complete the work.

Freelancer.com owns a number of freelance communities and is working to consolidate the community. In fact, last year it acquired the popular internet marketing forum Warrior Forum. Last year it also acquired:
•SydStart – an Austraian startup conference and community
•Zlecenia.przez.net – freelance marketplace in Poland
•Fantero – virtual content marketplace

The company also owns Freemarket.com, a site for buying and selling websites and domain names. Escrow.com obviously fits it nicely here, and Escrow.com’s customer list could be used for co-marketing and boosting this site’s presence among domain name investors.

A number of freelance sites use escrow systems for handling payments, so it’s possible Escrow.com could be integrated.

Freelancer.com boasts 15 million registered users. It says $2.7 billion worth of projects have been posted on all of its marketplaces since 2001. (One of its sites was GetAFreelancer, which acquired the Freelancer.com domain name in 2009.)

The company takes just a small sliver of each project, so its topline revenue number isn’t that high. It takes 0-3% from the person who posts the project and 0-10% from the freelancer. It also charges membership fees.

All of this added up to AUD $26.1M in the last financial year on AUD $103.7M in transactions, and a slight loss for the company.

Freelancer.com has been an Escrow.com customer. It used the service for the Warrior Forum transaction.

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