Freelancer's revenue growth has stalled, and the stock is tanking

Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie. Image: Supplied.

Freelancer, the pioneering freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace, has been hit by a downturn in its escrow business in China.

Shares in Freelancer fell hard after reporting flat revenue for the half year to June.

A short time ago, they were down almost 23% to $0.505.

The company generated net revenue of $26.3 million for its latest six month period, roughly equal to the same half last year. The net loss improved to $711,000 from $778,000 in the same six months of 2016.

This is a marked contrast from the calendar year to December, when revenue rose 37% to $52.75 million.

Gross profit for the half-year was $22.5 million, also flat on the same period in 2016.

The gross margin was 85%, slightly down due to a higher cost of sales.

Operating cash flow was a positive $1.5 million.

Gross payments fell 18% to $291 million. Freelancer’s share of that was $82 million, up 1%.

However, Escrow.com was down 24% to $209 million, mainly due to a fall in the China business as regulatory moves start to dampen property purchases.

This chart shows the drop off in business in China:

Source: Freelancer

“We’re confident that we’ve bottomed out here,” CEO Matt Barrie told an analyst briefing.

Freelancer bought the the Californian-based site Escrow.com, which provides online escrow services including transaction management, in 2015.

Freelancer says its overall user base is still growing, adding 1.4 million in the six months to a total of nearly 25 million.

The half year results in detail:

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