Start-up Tweaky.com nets AU$450K investment

The web development marketplace is hoping for major tweaks to its own site.

Australian start-up Tweaky.com has received a total of AU$450,000 in funding from three Australian investors.

Pete Murray, Mark Harbottle and Ned Dwyer
(Credit: Tweaky.com)

The start-up, which runs an online marketplace where businesses can look for web designers to perform minor and low-cost website changes, was winner of 2011 Startup Weekend Melbourne. Co-founders Pete Murray and Ned Dwyer set the beta marketplace live in February.

Tweaky.com takes briefs from companies that want work done to their websites, then breaks down this work into a series of "tweaks". The tweaks are then put into its marketplace, where a group of freelance web developers, selected by Tweaky.com, can pick up the work. The cost of a Tweak starts at $25.

"Website owners are fed up with paying upwards of $150 an hour to a local web developer or wading through quotes on freelance marketplaces for a better deal," Dwyer said.

Tweaky.com takes half of the developer's fee for the tweaks. According to Dwyer, they are able to take this big a cut because it takes on the project management role of breaking down work into small tweaks. He said that developers could generally earn between AU$25 to AU$30 an hour for their work on Tweaks after applying to be able to pick up jobs from the marketplace.

. Tweaky.com was selective with the developers it took on, Dwyer said, looking at their recent projects and at their Github profiles. The company also wasn't afraid to drop a developer if he or she wasn't performing, he said. Tweaky.com has attracted developers from countries around the globe, including Australia, India and Croatia.

The AU$450,000 investment comes from 99designs.com founder Mark Harbottle, angel investor Leni Mayo and the SitePoint Group.

"Tweaky.com is building a disruptive platform that has the potential to change the way we go about keeping our websites fresh and up to date," Harbottle said. "It's further proof that you don't have to go to Silicon Valley to build great products that compete globally".

Dwyer said it was great to obtain Australian investment, as he felt that the expertise for online marketplaces, such as 99designs, was best found in Australia.

Somewhat ironically, the team hopes to use the investment to hire engineers to improve and add features to its own marketplace, but Dwyer wouldn't say when he planned to remove the beta tag from the site.

The company also has an office in San Francisco, which Dwyer said he had opened to create relationships with hosting companies that would be able to partner with Tweaky.com for website upgrade services.