Freelancer announces full-year loss of $4.8m; shares climb 7pc
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Shares in Aussie tech entrepreneur Matt Barrie’s Freelancer jumped after the online labour exchange marketplace posted a full-year loss of $4.8 million.
The shares (ASX:FLN) climbed 13 per cent to an intra-day high of 43c on Tuesday, but cooled to 40.5c at the close.
Revenue was down 4.7 per cent to $50.3 million over the 12 months to December.
However, the company reported that growth had returned in the fourth quarter and so far in the first three months of 2018 growth was up 14 per cent.
“If that trend continued for the rest of 2018, it would be a little bit under 30 per cent (growth) year on year,” Mr Barrie said.
The slow-down in growth from about April 2016 was mainly due to the introduction of a new way of posting projects called “one click”.
The one click process was designed to make posting projects easier — but it led to a deterioration in marketplace quality due to freelancers shying away from those projects after a few months.
Good freelancers would look at these projects — but were hesitant to bid.
“We are very confident that we have fixed the issues related to Freelancer and that health is returning to the market and we are reverting to trend,” Mr Barrie said.
Freelancer ended the year with 27 million users, with 4.3 million registered users added.
This chart represents payments to freelancers, or Gross Marketplace Volume, with the trend picking up again: