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Freelancer buys vWorker, aims to become "eBay for services"

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 | By Patrick Stafford

Crowdsourcing giant Freelancer has acquired the fourth-largest site of its kind, with founder Matt Barrie saying the purchase is just another step in becoming the "eBay for services".

 

Freelancer's acquisition of vWorker comes just months after it bought another crowdsourcing site in the United States.

 

Barrie says the latest purchase adds more than two million customers and establishes a presence in Eastern Europe, where many of the site's customers are located: "vWorker is one of the absolute pioneers; it started around 2001 and introduced a whole lot of features that are now standardised across the space."

 

"It's paid out $139 million to freelancers, and we've now accumulated 6.6 million users so we have more than any other sites in the industry combined.

 

"There just aren't many marketplaces left in the industry of this size that aren't venture backed."

 

Barrie says he wants the company to become a global powerhouse, a type of eBay for services. The more marketplaces it can add to that strategy, the better – as long as they're a good fit, he says.

 

"There are marketplaces that just do logos, or legal work, and whatever it may be, and we just don't find those attractive. Even the regional players aren't very big. So we're really pleased with what we've been doing."

 

"We want to be the eBay of jobs. There will be a company that will be the size and scale of eBay, but instead of buying and selling goods you sell services. I was surprised no one had done it when I thought of starting the business."

 

Originally called RentACoder, vWorker changed its name after expanding its offering. All the company's projects will be transferred over to Freelancer.com.

 

Freelancer wouldn't confirm a purchase price.

 

This story first appeared on SmartCompany.