​Positive cash flow turnaround for Freelancer

After reporting negative cash flow results for the year ending 2014, Australian online freelancing marketplace Freelancer has recorded a cash flow of almost AU$1 million for the first quarter of 2015.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Australian online freelancing marketplace Freelancer has shifted into a positive cash flow position for the quarter ending March 2015, after reporting a negative net operating cash flow of AU$218,000 in the previous quarter.

In its latest quarterly cash flow update (PDF), the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed company reported net operating cash flows of AU$973,000 for the three-month period.

Freelancer has consistently sailed close to neutral territory in terms of cash flow, with the company choosing to reinvest much of its earnings into its own growth. For the year ending December 2014, the company reported a net loss after tax of AU$1.5 million. However, it also invested millions of dollars in a series of acquisitions aimed at extending its global footprint, user base, and product portfolio.

Despite its increased capital expenditure and investment in new acquisitions and staff in 2014, the company came close to breaking even for the year, reporting an operating cash flow of AU$-100,000 for the 12-month period.

In the first quarter of 2015, Freelancer also acquired the assets of DoNanza, an online Israeli marketplace that aggregates and consolidates freelance jobs published across the web, and matches them with a network of over 360,00 users.

The company said that as of the end of March 2015, it had surpassed 15 million registered users around the world.

"We ... moved from negative cash flow in Q4 2014 to positive cash flow in Q1 2015," said Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie in a statement (PDF). "In addition, at the end of the quarter, we surpassed 15 million registered users, which is a tremendous milestone for the company."

Freelancer also recorded cash receipts of AU$8 million for the quarter, up 8.2 percent on the fourth quarter of last year, and up by 42 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

As of March 31, 2015, Freelancer claimed cash balances of AU$22.1 million, an increase of 9.6 percent from the AU$20.2 million it possessed at the end of 2014.

The company hit its record registered user base numbers as fellow Australian internet startup Canva reaches its own membership milestone, hitting 2 million users earlier this month.

The milestone comes just 18 months after the cloud-based graphic design software provider officially launched its platform.

In that time, the Sydney-based company has seen more than 16 million designs created on its platform, over 200,000 organisations from around the world now using its services, and has also taken on Apple's former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki as its own evangelist to help spruik its brand internationally.

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