Freelancer lures key investors from Facebook, MYOB, Seek

Shares in the online marketplace for outsourcing will begin trading on the ASX on Friday with a who's who of online investors on its share register.

The $17.5 million initial public offering of Freelancer Ltd, the world’s largest online marketplace for outsourcing, has attracted a founding investor in Facebook Inc, the founder and management of internet job site Seek Ltd and the cofounder of accounting software company Myob Ltd.

Freelancer closed its IPO early after it was flooded with demand from investors such as Facebook investor Joel Sng, Seek’s Andrew Bassat, Paul Bassat and Jason Lenga as well as MYOB cofounder Brad Shofer.

KTM Capital, the IPO’s underwriters, organised the sale of 30 million Freelancer shares at 50 cents each plus the sale of another 5.1 million shares to company employees at the same price.

Freelancer’s directors bought a further 2 million shares in the IPO and employees another 2 million as well. About 90 per cent of Freelancer’s stock is held by its directors, management and employees.

The company’s shares are set to begin trading on the ASX on Friday with an initial market value of $218 million.

Founded in 2009, Freelancer has nine million users from 247 countries, regions and territories. Its revenue is primarily generated from users posting projects on the freelancer.com network of websites. Its fee income is generated when projects are awarded by posters and subsequently accepted by users undertaking the projects.

Fees vary by the value of the project and are paid primarily as an introduction fee at the time of acceptance.

Freelancer also generates fees from a number of other services including subscription memberships, project upgrades, crowd sourcing contests and upgrades, bid upgrades, advertising and certification fees.