PeoplePerHour, the marketplace for freelancers, today announced the public launch of Hourlies, a new product designed to make hourly services easier to manage.
Hourlies are online listings where anyone can sell their services or skills by the hour, starting with as little as one hour. Users can set up a simple post, add images and video if required and then clients looking for skills can browse for people who fit their requirements.
PeoplePerHour’s goal with Hourlies is to make it even easier to sell and buy what the company terms ‘semi-remote’ work. Unlike many freelancing sites that promote cheap volume offshoring for services like computer programming and IT, PeoplePerHour has created a marketplace of more local services.
“Hourlies is our way of making it dead simple for every person to join the online working revolution,” says PeoplePerHour founder and CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou. “Everybody has free time and a skill or service that has value to someone. Hourlies connects people with others — even in their own area — who will pay for that skill or service. It helps people not only earn extra cash by ‘moonlighting,’ but also take the first step in creating a full-fledged entrepreneurial business, an ambition most people harbor.”
Since launching in private beta in May, thousands of Hourlies have been posted ranging from small business support services like a video analysis of a website’s effectiveness for $45, and a bespoke itinerary for a vacation in London for £30.
The company has taken freelance work down to a more granular level, something that not only suits many freelancers as one-off jobs but can also help smaller businesses looking for help without having to buy in bulk.
“By bringing the unit of work down to as little as one hour, and giving power to the worker to define what they can do and at what price, we’re unlocking a huge untapped market for micro-services that people can deliver in their spare time,” says Thrasyvoulou. “That’s great for workers, and for businesses and consumers the world over who need project-based freelance help.”
The UK unemployment rate dipped this month and as reported by Bloomberg, some of this may be related to people working part-time or becoming self-employed. Certainly there is some thinking that there is almost as much security in self employment as many large companies implement cuts and redundancies to cope with the current recession.
Thrasyvoulou’s vision is that working online will become as easy and mainstream as social media, eventually replacing 9-5 jobs as we know them. “We see a future where you write on Tumblr, Tweet on Twitter, connect on Facebook and sell on PeoplePerHour,” he says.
There are now many methods of marketing freelance skills online from Workana to platforms like TaskRabbit and Juggle for more personal errands. It seems as though there is very little that cannot be distributed to others who have the right skills for the job.
PeoplePerHour was founded in 2007 by Xenios Thrasyvoulou and Simos Kitiris and has grown to become one of Europe’s largest websites for helping businesses get jobs done while facilitating work for hundreds of thousands of freelancers.
The company has experienced consistent growth of more than 100% year-over-year since its inception and has expanded operations to the US to match demand for the $83M in work being transacted through the site.
PeoplePerHour has raised a total of $8M (£5M), the latest of which is a $5.8M (£3.6M) Series A round that closed in December 2010 and was led by Index Ventures and Michael van Swaaij, former Chairman of Skype.
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