The ‘Great Resignation’ is not only pushing people to change companies for similar roles, but it is seeking workers take the plunge and become self-employed. Freelancing has also been a lifeline for many who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
It is no surprise, therefore, that freelance marketplaces like Fiverr have boomed in the pandemic, and that companies like LinkedIn want to a slice of the pie.
Hot on the heels of LinkedIn launching Service Marketplace for freelancers, Fiverr has announced it is acquiring startup Stoke Talent for $95 million. This comes just a few months after Stoke Talent’s $20 million Series A in June 2021.
This acquisition follows Fiverr buying online learning platform CreativeLive in early October. The financial details of this deal were not disclosed.
Talking about the deal, CreativeLive founder and CEO Chase Jarvis said: “We are excited to be part of the Fiverr family and to grow our inventory of compelling courses that increase economic opportunity for our community, the Fiverr community, and today’s modern workforce.”
The future for Fiverr and Stoke
Although Stoke will be independently operated, its freelance management tools, which include onboarding, payroll, and tracking freelance budgets, will be integrated into Fiverr’s platform. The aim, according to TechCrunch, is to become a one-stop-shop for employers looking for regular freelance talent.
Talking about the acquisition, Fiverr CEO and founder Micha Kaufman noted: “The Stoke acquisition made complete sense on multiple levels.
“It supports Fiverr’s move upmarket and allows us to engage with much larger customers”, as well as “allows Fiverr to offer software solutions to businesses that already have freelancers that they work with and now can manage them easily”.
In addition, the deal “allows Fiverr to pair its marketplace talent with large customers that need access to freelancers they still do not yet have a relationship with” and “gives Fiverr access to the offline freelancing market that is still orders of magnitude larger than online freelancing”.
Stoke CEO and co-founder Shahar Erez commented: “We share Fiverr’s vision that freelance talent can help propel companies to new heights, both from a productivity and agility standpoint.
“This is an amazing opportunity to continue doing what we love to do, but on a much larger and broader scale.
“Together with Fiverr, we have the ability to build an ecosystem where businesses can implement a multi-channel freelancer strategy, and provide tools for them to efficiently manage not only freelancer engagement on Fiverr’s marketplace, but those off Fiverr’s marketplace as well.”