Freelancer has posted a loss and its shares are soaring

Matt Barrie.

Shares in Matt Barrie’s Freelancer jumped after the Australian labour exchange marketplace posted a full year loss of $4.77 million.

A short time ago, the shares were up 13.1% to $0.43.

Revenue was down 4.7% to $50.27 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%.

“If that trend continued for the rest of 2018, it would be a little bit under 30% (growth) year on year,” says Barrie.

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.

This was designed to be an easier way to post projects but soon led to deterioration in marketplace quality due to freelancers shying away from these projects after a few months.

Good freelancers would look at these projects but were hesitant to bid.

“We hare 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,” says Barrie.

This chart represents payments to freelancers, or Gross Marketplace Volume, with the trend picking up again:

Source: Freelancer

The issues was with fixed-price desktop web projects and hour projects are growing.

Freelancer ended the year with 27 million users, with 4.3 million registered users added.

The 2017 numbers at a glance:

Source: Freelancer

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