Recruit Co reportedly closing in on $400m buyout

Recruit Co reportedly closing in on $400m buyout

Summary: Although both companies are remaining silent on the deal, might see itself snapped up by Recruit Co for $400 million.


Matt Barrie's Aussie startup 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.

Topics: Start-Ups, E-Commerce, IT Employment

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • Freelancer!

    Insane. Founded in 2009. Now worth $218 million. Great work Matt Barrie and team, a very inspiring rise to the top. Also SEOClerks will be the most successful site (next to freelancer) in upcoming times.
  • Not sure about that

    afaik, oDesk is still the leading site in online staffing services, followed by Elance and Freelancer, then niche marketplaces (99designs, and new startups. This article explains it all:
    Cloyd Waldo