Freelancer reports record net revenue of AU$52.7m in FY16

During the 2016 financial year, Freelancer experienced a record 37 percent increase in revenue, delivering AU$52.7 million thanks to a greater uptake of services and increased user and project acquisition.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Online freelancing marketplace Freelancer has released its 2016 financial results, reporting a record revenue of AU$52.7 million, up 37 percent from the AU$38.6 million reported in FY15. This marked the highest revenue growth in US constant currency since the company began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2013.

The company attributed its revenue growth to ongoing marketplace efficiency and conversion rate improvements, greater uptake of value-added services, as well as increased user, project, and content acquisition.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for FY16 fell by 75 percent year on year, however, from AU$2 million down to AU$0.5 million.

Affecting its results was Freelancer's acquisitions of Nubelo and Prolancer, its top competitors in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets, in mid-December. The acquisitions added 750,000 new users to the 1.8 million Latin American, Spanish, and Portuguese users already on Freelancer.

Freelancer's gross payment volume (GPV) topped AU$666 million during the year, up 190 percent from a little over AU$229 million in FY15.

Of the total GPV, AU$505.9 million came from Freelancer's subsidiary payments vendor Escrow.com, and the remaining AU$160.3 million from its core marketplace. However, Escrow.com only contributed AU$7.6 million in net revenue.

In Q4 2016, the company was able to reduce its marketing costs as a percentage of cash receipts to 16 percent from 20 to 22 percent in previous quarters. This represents a little less than AU$2.1 million of the AU$13 million in cash receipts generated in Q4 2016.

The company's operating cashflow remained at AU$4.5 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2016.

As of December, Freelancer reported 23.3 million registered users, with 10.6 million jobs posted on its marketplace at an average cost of $167.

In the first half of 2016, Freelancer reported positive financial results after two consecutive first-half losses, with an operating cashflow of AU$4.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016. The company attributed the positive result to its acquisition of Escrow.com.

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