Freelancer keeps revenue growing while aiming for over “one billion users”

Freelancer.com, which became a public company in November 2013, has released its first full year annual report, revealing a net profit of $753,000, up 3% on the previous year.

The online freelance marketplace, started by Matt Barrie in 2009, had pre-tax profit of $600,000 and achieved net revenue of $18.8 million, up 77% against the prior corresponding period figure of $10.6 million.

It reported its operating net profit was $1.1 million, up 46% from 2012, exclusive of IPO expenses.

Freelancer’s gross payment volume was $84.4 million, up 66% on the prior corresponding period.

The site’s users increased to 9.7 million. However, Barrie told SmartCompany this morning that figure had already gone over 10 million two months into this financial year.

He says the aim is to get to over “one billion users as quickly as possible” on the platform.

“There is no reason why all the users of Facebook can’t be on Freelancer,” he says.

“We are land grabbing now…getting into new countries…the challenge is how do we get to a billion quickly and be cost-effective.”

The site facilitated 5.3 million projects in 2013, up from just over four million in 2012.

Barrie says the company is “still in the early days in the space” but shareholders are “very happy” with the inaugural report figures.

“We are reinvesting every dollar we made back into the business,” he says.

“All of our metrics are improving…we are disciplined and focused on breaking even.”

He says the shareholders were supportive of this approach, rather than chasing fast profits.

Barrie says in 2013 much investment went into building new product platforms for users, expanding into international markets and acquiring expert staff.

“We have opened an office Vancouver, in Manila and our Sydney office is getting too small.”

He says the company now has 350 staff internationally. Last week it appointed Daniel Oertli as vice president of products, a former chief executive and co-founder of Roomz. His role will be to head up a global team of product managers and designers.

Barrie says that in 2014 the focus will be on scaling up, hiring more expert staff, innovative product development and continuing to reach new territories. It is expanding its range of languages and currency offering.

Freelancer floated on November 15 last year, selling around $14.2 million worth of shares, or 6.7% of the company. At the time, Barrie told SmartCompanythis was not going to be an exit plan.

“I’m not selling a single share,” he said. “I love this company.”

Freelancer is a crowdsourcing and freelancing marketplace, offering work in around 600 fields such as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing.

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