Crowdsourcing marketplace Freelancer has just completed a $10 million raising through a share placement deal to fund its acquisition of Escrow.com for $US7.5 million.
The company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Californian-based site, which provides online escrow services including transaction management, from a private investor. Last financial year Escrow.com had a gross payment volume of $US265 million, net revenue of $US5 million and posted an EBITDA of $US1.2 million.
As for what Freelancer will do with the company, CEO Matt Barrie said: “This highly complementary acquisition will enhance the ability of our 15 million users to transact securely, and there are large opportunities for growth and synergies with core offerings. Finally, it is a strong cornerstone for entering the payments space.”
Acting as a third party which collects, holds and disburses funds according to buyer and seller instructions, Escrow.com partners include eBay, GoDaddy and Flippa.com. Freelancer will continue to run Escrow.com as a stand alone business.
Freelancer raised $AU10 million through a placement of ordinary shares to institutional investors to fund the acquisition. Issuing 10 million ordinary shares at $AU1, UBS AG was the bookrunner on the deal.
A short time ago Freelancer’s share price was up more than 5.5% to $AU1.05.
The acquisition of Escrow.com is subject to regulatory approval. Settlement of the placement is due to take place on Thursday.
The Escrow.com group staff will be continuing with the California-based business.
Over the past 12 months Freelancer has executed on an acquisition buying spree to build out its community.
Last year it bought out online marketplace Warrior Forum, virtual content marketing community fatero.com and Polish online services site zlecenia.przez.net. It also launched a domain exchange website called Freemarket and this year added Israeli site DoNanza.
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