Freelancer down AU$33,000 for Q3, completes Escrow acquisition

Australian online freelancing services marketplace Freelancer has posted a AU$33,000 net operating loss for the third quarter of the year, but is focusing on the approval of its latest acquisition.

Freelancer has posted a net operating loss of AU$33,000 for the three months ending September 30, 2015, up AU$985,000 year-on-year.

Despite being in the red, the outsourcing e-marketplace player remains positive and announced it had received final regulatory approvals for the acquisition of Escrow.com from the required parties in the United States.

"Freelancer has commenced the process for financial close with the seller, and expects this to occur imminently," Freelancer told shareholders Thursday morning.

In April, Freelancer entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the online escrow service provider for $7.5 million.

"This highly complementary acquisition will enhance the ability of our 15 million users to transact securely, and there are large opportunities for growth and synergies with core offerings," Freelancer CEO and chairman Matt Barrie said at the time.

"Finally, it is a strong cornerstone for entering the payments space."

In August, Freelancer completed a AU$10 million share placement of ordinary shares, at the sale price of AU$1.40 per share, with Barrie also selling AU$12 million worth of existing Freelancer shares -- or 4 percent of his stake -- to institutional investors.

"I remain absolutely committed to Freelancer as CEO, and a shareholder, but recognise the need to sell a small portion of my shares to increase the company's free float and trading liquidity," Barrie said in August.

In July, the company announced that it had partnered with NASA to crowdsource solutions for problems astronauts face on the International Space Station.

Freelancer said the partnership with NASA resulted in a total of 23 contests for the quarter, which included projects such as 3D tools for the International Space Station's robot assistant, Robonaut; as well as logos, banners, and a smartwatch application used by astronauts for scheduling and systems updates.

According to the company, it is the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted; and for the year to date, Freelancer had a positive operating cashflow, totalling AU$1.1 million.

Freelancer also said it booked record cash receipts for the quarter, which totalled AU$9.7 million, up 42 percent over the prior corresponding period; and that it held cash and equivalents to the value of AU$42.6 million.

The online marketplace reported a half-yearly operating net loss after tax of AU$800,000 for the period ending June 2015, pushing past its AU$600,000 operating net loss after tax in the same half last year. The company also saw a deeper loss on its reported operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, posting a loss of AU$1 million.

In April, Freelancer revealed that it had shifted into a positive cash flow position for the quarter ending March 2015, after reporting a negative net operating cash flow of AU$218,000 in the previous quarter.

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