Matt Barrie's Aussie startup Freelancer.com is reportedly in the sights of Japanese firm Recruit Co, with a $400 million offer on the table.
Although Recruit Co's policy is not to comment on rumours or speculation and Freelancer has declined to comment, the Australian Financial Review is reporting that sources close to the deal have confirmed the offer.
Freelancer was first formed in the Australian market, aiming to match freelance workers with organisations or individuals wishing to outsource their work. Now a global company, it has already posted over AU$1.1 billion worth of work.
Its closest competitors include oDesk, which focuses on contractors in particular, and Etsy, which tackles the niche market of hand-crafted goods.
Freelancer itself is no stranger to acquisitions, but is usually on the buying end of the deal. In July 2012, it purchased Canadian firm Scriptlance and, some four months after, it purchased vWorker, a Tampa, Florida-based company focusing on IT jobs. In both cases, the value of each acquisition was not disclosed.
After the two acquisitions, Freelancer boasted that its membership consisted of 6.6 million users, greater than its two nearest competitors' userbase combined. In August, that figure grew to 8 million.