Freelancer raises AU$10m in the wake of half-yearly loss

Outsourcing e-marketplace Freelancer has raised AU$10 million in its latest share placement, and sold AU$35 million worth of extra shares after two board members reduced their respective stake in the company.

Australian online freelancing services marketplace Freelancer has completed a AU$10 million share placement of ordinary shares, at the sale price of AU$1.40 per share.

Alongside the placement of shares, founder and CEO Matt Barrie sold AU$12 million worth of existing Freelancer shares -- or 4 percent of his stake -- to institutional investors, also at AU$1.40 per share.

"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.

Simon Clausen, Freelancer director and founding venture capital investor also sold AU$23 million worth of shares, which was 10 percent of his holding in the company, also citing Freelancer's need to increase market liquidity and broaden its shareholder base as his reason for selling shares.

The company told shareholders that as a result of the AU$35 million sale of board member shares, Barrie would hold 42 percent, and Clausen 34 percent, of the issued capital in Freelancer.

The Australian-listed company said that the placement proceeds will be invested in the business to take advantage of near term growth opportunities, which includes potential "bolt-on acquisitions".

"The AU$10 million placement proceeds received by the company will enable us to continue investing in the business to fuel its rapid growth," Barrie said.

"We are also pleased that Freelancer is now generating positive operating cash flows, another milestone in the company's development.

"As we continue to rapidly grow the company, it is important that all shareholders benefit from increased market liquidity and a broadened share register."

The company said that settlement of the placement and share sale is scheduled for Monday August 10.

This announcement comes in the wake of the company's million dollar first half operating loss announced last week.

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 (EBITDA), posting a loss of AU$1 million.

Freelancer previously AU$10 million via a new placement of shares to acquire online fraud protection outfit Escrow.com for $7.5 million.