buys Scriptlance to expand marketplace

Bambi Francisco Roizen · July 9, 2012 · Short URL:

Crowdsourcer of jobs just got a bigger by making its 12th acquisition, an outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace created through a roll-up of acquisitions, announced Monday that it's acquired Scriptlance, a Canadian freelance marketplace. The Scriptlance acquisition is the 12th purchase made by Freelancer. Other acquisitions include LimeExchange, based in the US, and GetAFreelancer, based in Sweden.

Toronto-based Scriptlance, which was founded in 2001, has more than 360,000 enterprise and professional users from over 244 countries, regions and territories globally. More than 600,000 projects have been posted on the site and more than $43 million has been paid out to freelancers.

With the acquisition, Freelancer, which started in 2009 in Australia, has established a presence in Canada and now has more than four million users, which is over 2.5 times the user base of its nearest competitor oDesk.  

"We are mass market," said Matt Barrie, founder and CEO of "We dumb down the site so my mother or grandmother can use the site. We're in 11 currencies globally and three languages and 450 job categories. oDesk's bread and butter is from enterprise customers. They're more selling a work-place enterprise solution. We're targeting more mass market and consumers." 

More than 2.3 million projects have been posted on, for jobs such as website design; graphic design, copywriting and SEO (search engine optimization). But some other interesting jobs include astrophysics, aerospace engineering, biotechnology, manufacturing and industrial design.

"The types of jobs are growing exponentially," said Barrie. "We're constantly amazed at the type of sophistication and complex jobs online." 

So how does a customer feel confident in hiring freelancers from the service? The integrity of the marketplace comes from the reputations of the freelancers. The higher one's reputation, the higher they appear on the list of freelancers to contact. One freelancer that started on is doing up to $1 million a year, said Barrie.

To date,, which has not raised any funding but has been bootsrapped, has paid out $180 million to its freelancers, said Barrie.

The average job size on is $200. takes between 0 and 3% in commission from the employer and between 3% and 10% from the freelancer. The commission rates depend on whether an employer or freelancer is a member. At the moment, has tens of thousands of subscribers. 

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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