Freelancer Targets A Billion Users: 'We're Nowhere Near Saturation Yet'

Freelancer.com has grown at an impressive – and accelerating – rate in its 13 years, with growing user numbers driving revenue and profits up.

The jobs listing site today posted its first full-year result as an ASX-listed company. Profit was up 46 per cent to $1.1 million and revenue up 77 per cent to $18.8 million.

Importantly, Freelancer reported adding 2.9 million new registered users in the 12 months to 31 December – double the 1.4 million added in 2012 and bringing its total number of users to 9.7 million.

From Freelancer’s investor presentation:

CEO Matt Barrie acknowledged that the market could reach saturation but that point was a long way off yet, with analysts reporting a total of 2.4 billion internet users globally in 2012.

“Facebook has more than a billion users,” Barrie said. “I don’t see why everyone on Facebook couldn’t also use Freelancer – everyone either wants a job or wants someone to do one.

“It’s been a spectacular year; 77 per cent year-on-year is a fantastic [revenue] growth rate. You can’t maintain growth rates like this forever but [the point of market saturation is] not in the near term.”

Freelancer makes its money from membership and examination fees and commissions on jobs outsourced via the site.

The latter accounts for a vast majority of its income. Freelancer facilitated a total of $84.4 million worth of jobs in 2013, up 66 per cent from the previous year.

Freelancer shares were trading at $1.43 just after noon, down almost 3.4 per cent for the day and well under its $2.50 opening price on the day it listed.

Barrie owns 46 per cent of Freelancer shares. He shrugged off the fall, highlighting low volumes and Freelancer’s IPO offer price of $0.50.

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