Fiverr, the Israeli startup that offers an online marketplace for freelance services, is preparing for a first public offer in the United States that the company will appreciate at $ 1 billion, The Marker has learned.
The company, founded in 2010 by Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman, has started meeting potential Wall Street insurers with a target date for completing the offer early next year, sources said. The company declined to comment.
The Fiverr platform links freelancers to potential customers around the world, mainly small and medium-sized businesses, making it a player in the merging & # 39; gig economy & # 39; Typical services include graphic art, video editing, software development, copyright and other professions that can be performed online.
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When it started, services were offered for a single price of $ 5, hence the name of the company, but today users can set their own prices. These can vary from $ 10,000, but usually the prices are very low.
Fiverr collects a 20% commission on jobs won via the site.
Fiverr has competitors such as Upwork and Freelancer.com, but it has become an international brand in its segment and is rated as one of the most popular websites in the United States.
"Since we started Fiverr, we've been able to solve the big problem of freelancers by finding customers and generating revenue," said Kaufman, who is now CEO, in an interview with The Marker last year. "I have no doubt that we will be a $ 1 billion company."
If the Fiverr IPO continues, it will be a hit for the Israeli tech scene, which has suffered a scarcity of public offers. Figures from the Israel Venture Capital-Meitar Exits Report showed only three IPOs in the first half of this year, less than eight the same time in 2017. The three were all small, worth a combined $ 114 million, according to IVC figures.
However, the timing could be good for the company, with the technically demanding Nasdaq index, which this year alone rose by 15% and with a record high. The IPO market in the United States was strong this year, with 1,515 companies that started trading on the Nasdaq, an increase of 69% compared to a year earlier.
Fiverr says that around a million freelancers use the platform that offers 7,500 new vacancies daily and compares a million jobs per month. Most freelancers come from developing countries.
"When we started Fiverr, people were a bit skeptical about the idea of the shared economy or gig economy, I think skepticism has disappeared after companies such as Uber and Kickstarter appeared and operated on the same market," Kaufmann said in 2015, citing 30% of the American labor market consists of freelancers, a figure that, according to him, would grow to 40% by 2020.
Although Fiverr is often a source of critical income for freelancers in third world countries, developed economies see the platform and others in the gig economy as work that offers no fixed income or social benefits.
The company hit the mark last March when it was accused of promoting a disturbed work ethic in its campaign "In Doers We Trust" which indicated how hard its freelancers work, even at the expense of their health or sex life. The company searched two months later to make up for it by offering video tutorials for freelancers under the name Fiverr Elevate on topics such as saving, managing cash, taxes and pensions.
The switch followed the takeover by Fiverr in January of the American startup And Co with a portfolio of online tools to help freelancers manage their business.
To date, Fiverr has raised $ 110 million in capital in five fundraising rounds. Among the first investors were the angel investors Guy Gamzu and Adam Fischer. They were then accompanied by Square Peg Capital, Qumra Capital, Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Jonathan Kolber. The company has 300 employees, two-thirds of whom are in Israel.