More industries will be eaten by software: Matt Barrie

Software is set to eat up multiple industries while an increasing number of jobs are likely to shift to the cloud, according to Freelancer.com’s CEO, Matt Barrie.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Software is set to eat up multiple industries and an increasing number of jobs will shift to the cloud, Freelancer.com's CEO Matt Barrie told the company’s shareholders at its first annual general meeting today.

"Over the decades to come, the rest of the world's population will be connecting — at an accelerating pace," Barrie told shareholders. "More and more industries will be eaten by software, and more and more jobs will be performed with a computer and will head into the cloud.

"People on opposite sides of the world will increasingly work together, and through software it will be as seamless as if they were in the same room together. We believe, in time, it is inevitable that a global marketplace for services will emerge, that will be of a similar size and scale as global marketplaces for products like eBay, Amazon and Alibaba," he said.

Barrie's comments come as the company, which listed publicly on the Australian Stock Exchange in November last year, reports a cash balance of AU$23.9 million as of the end of the March 2014 quarter.

In February, the online freelancing platform reported a 77 percent surge in revenue to AU$18.8 million for the year ending 2013, with operating net profit up 46 percent to AU$1.1 million.

However, much of the company's earnings are being pumped back into its expansion. In April, Barrie told ZDNet that Freelancer.com had snapped up no less than an additional one million customers within a month, thanks to the acquisitions of online marketing platform, Warrior Forum; virtual content marketplace, Fantero.com; and Polish freelancing marketplace, Zlecenia.przez.net.

Before those acquisitions, Freelancer.com already claimed over 10.8 million registered users globally and, according to Barrie, the majority of the company's increasing user base is being generated through organic growth, rather than acquisitions.

Barrie has made no secret of his grand vision for Freelancer.com, saying that he wants the platform to facilitate "every job, every country, every language, for anyone with a laptop anywhere in the world".

"Going forward we will be focused on improving scalability, strengthening the team and our marketplace," he said. "We will continue to focus on innovative product development and continue to expand across regional and multilingual markets, and across job categories.

"After a successful debut on the ASX last year, the company has stepped up its investment in people and global presence to support its aggressive growth and expansion strategy," said Barrie.

To support this strategy, the company has opened up additional office in Vancouver and London to provide additional engineering, marketing and communications support throughout North America and Europe.

"The company is aiming to grow its staff in those offices during the course of the year," said Barrie.

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