Australian-founded freelancing marketplace Freelancer.com has acquired its top competitors in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets Nubelo and Prolancer for undisclosed amounts.
Earlier in 2016, the Australian Securities Exchange-listed company opened an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina to strengthen its position in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets, which the company claims to be among its fastest growing.
When Freelancer launched operations in Latin America in 2012, the Spanish and Portuguese markets represented less than 0.2 percent of its operations. In 2016, these markets represent roughly 10 percent of Freelancer's total revenue, generated from 1.8 million users who have posted over 500,000 projects.
Acquiring competitors in different markets has been a key component of Freelancer's growth strategy.
In 2014, it purchased a number of European marketplaces including Warrior Forum, Fantero.com, Projectlinkr, and Zlecenia.
Freelancer also acquired the assets of Israel-based online freelance job marketplace Donanza for an undisclosed sum in March 2015, after it shut its services down in 2014.
In April 2015, Freelancer entered into a definitive agreement to acquire online fraud protection outfit Escrow.com for $7.5 million.
However, the deal with the California-based third-party payments vendor was not paid for until November 2015, with Freelancer spending just over AU$10 million on the $7.5 million purchase.
Freelancer reported positive financial results in the first half of 2016 after two consecutive first half losses, with an operating cashflow of AU$4.5 million for the six months ended June 30. The company attributed its positive result to the Escrow.com acquisition.
The company now has 22 million users, with 8,000 new jobs being posted on its marketplace on a daily basis.