Low-cost creative services marketplace Fiverr has launched new features today that make it easier to navigate its huge catalog of services. The news comes as it announces a $30 million Series C funding round.
Fiverr has always offered a diverse mix of services from professional and amateur sellers alike. The new discovery tools let you drill down from any top level category to more easily find exactly what you need. This improved navigation helps Fiverr in its ambition to be an eBay or Amazon for creative services.
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CEO and co-founder Micha Kaufman says that this ‘Services-as-a-product’ vision will be enhanced by the new funding that will allow Fiverr to expand into new international markets, improve its mobile offering and tackle the Fortune 500 market.
Kaufman says that while small and medium-sized businesses tend to come back to the site for repeat business, larger corporations have far bigger requirements (5,000 photos in a month, for example) so it’s easy to see how repeat business there would be a goldmine.
Quantity over quality?
Although Fiverr is keen to stress how it empowers people to sell their creative work, its emphasis on low price points has led to criticism. Recently, graphic designers were enraged by an advertisement from the company that suggested that even $100 was too much for a logo.
— Jamie Smart (@jamiesmart) August 4, 2014
Indeed, a subsequent Medium article by Sacha Greif showed how some $5 ‘designers’ were simply modifying templates rather than providing original work.
“We’re not forcing anyone to set a certain price for their work,” says Kaufman. “If they want to be super-competitive and they can do super-quick work and decide to price it low, fine. If they want more money that’s fine as well – we’re not intervening with that process.
“There’s always going to be a need for a graphic designer that charges $300 per hour. There’s always going to be a need for people who are more frugal and need to do it on a budget, and it’s the same on the side of the supply. So I think this discussion is a little bit biased biased. We’re giving freedom to the sellers, they get to choose what they’re going to do.”
Personally, I’ve experienced generally good results when it comes to work commissioned through Fiverr, although in a light-touch marketplace that emphasizes price, there are always going to be low quality sellers.
When it comes to creative services, there’s room in the market for all sorts of price points, and there’s an argument that Fiverr is picking up those clients who would have balked at higher-charging artists anyway.
Still, baiting graphic designers with the implication that $5 is always a fair price for their work probably wasn’t wise.