Freelancer’s CEO predicts there will be a global demand for selling services like there is now for online goods.
The founder of newly-listed online employment outsourcing firm Freelancer has predicted his business will enjoy growth similar to that of web giants Ebay and Amazon.
The company, formed in 2008 from a granny flat, describes itself as the world’s biggest outsourcing and crowd sourcing service.
But chairman and chief executive Matt Barrie, who started the $700 million firm, dismissed a suggestion Freelancer could be facilitating exploitation in poorer countries.
“It’s completely the opposite,” he told ABC TV’s Inside Business program.
“The freelancers on the marketplace are the elite of the elite of the elite in their countries: they are technically literate, they have access to the internet and their wages are orders of magnitude higher than what they would earn locally.”
Mr Barrie predicted a global market for services would emerge in five to 15 years in the same way Amazon and Ebay sparked a worldwide demand for the online sale of goods more than a decade ago.
“This is all playing out again in the developing world,” he said.
“There’s going to be a huge future here.”
Freelancer does not advertise full-time, contract or manual trade jobs, but instead brings together buyers and sellers of computer-literate labour for short-term projects.
The company’s shares more than tripled to $1.60 on the day the company floated in mid-November.
But at the end of last week, Freelancer lost 8.5 per cent, or 5.26 per cent, to $1.53 even though the broader Australian share market ended a four-day losing streak.