Freelancer.com to go public and list on Australian Securities Exchange

Australia-based international online outsourcing website Freelancer.com intends to list on the Australian Securities Exchange by the end of the year, with chief executive Matt Barrie saying he’ll be buying shares when the company floats.

 

Barrie, who owns 50% of the company that recently received a $US400 million takeover offer from Japanese recruitment site Recruit Co, told StartupSmart he intended to stay on as chief executive.

 

“I’ve been saying for years that it’s a national imperative to build up technology industries in this country,” he says.

 

“My long-term vision for Freelancer.com is to build Australia’s first big global consumer technology company.”

 

Barrie says listing on the ASX, which he described as among the world’s top-five stock markets, was the best way to achieve his vision, adding that technology companies on the ASX were trading at a premium compared with those in the US.

 

He declined to discuss what the target price for shares would be ahead of the prospectus for the float being issued.

 

“I’ll be buying stock on the exchange at the time of listing,” he says.

 

Barrie came up with an idea for an online jobs market in 2008, operating as biditout.com from his Sydney garage. He then bought Swedish site getafreelancer.com and formed Freelancer.com in 2009.

 

The online platform sees employers post projects they need done on the site, which freelance professionals then bid on to complete. Fees are charged when projects are accepted.

 

Barrie says that in 2008 it wasn’t obvious that online outsourcing would become a business.

 

“My thinking back then was ‘why isn’t there an eBay for jobs?’,” he says.

 

The company says on its website it’s the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace with more than eight million professionals signed up and four million projects posted worth over $1 billion. It operates in more than 200 countries and has offices in Sydney, Manilla, London and Buenos Aires.

 

Last month the company acquired Japanese site Freelancer.jp for an undisclosed sum as part of its strategy to become a global platform.

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